Guests & Hosts
Below is information about this year’s celebrity guests and their gracious hosts. Registration goes live on Wednesday, May 1 - register early (and give generously!) to ensure you have the opportunity to dine with the guest of your choice!
- Margo and Cantor Barry Abelson
- David Fhima
- David Berg, appearing as William de la Barre
- Curt Brown
- Colin Covert
- Chris Farrell
- Arne Fogel
- Lowell Fox
- Jordana Green
- David Kahn
- Joe Kimball
- Warren King
- Brenda Langton
- Suzanne Weinstein
- Allen Levine
- Lori & Julia
- Tuan Nguyen
- Adam Platt
- Secretary of State Mark Ritchie
- Dave Schwartz
- Bob Schwartz
- Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal
- Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans
- Ann Simonds
- Under 40s - Mirra Fine & Daniel Klein
- Under 40s - Matt Brickman
- Under 40s - Todd Walker
- Under 40s - Jodi Livon
- Under 40s - Phil Loadholt
- Under 40s - Jason & Alexis
- Long-time Cantor at Temple Israel
Margo and Cantor Barry Abelson
Margo and Cantor Barry Abelson met while attending college at the Hartt College of Music at the University of Hartford. Cantor Abelson has been with Temple Israel since 1985. Margo currently teaches at the Adath Jeshurun preschool and continues to perform throughout the Twin Cities. They are both thrilled to participate in this evening for Sholom Home.
Hosts: Wendy & Randy Engel
- Executive Chef, FACES Mears Park
David Fhima has been a part of the restaurant industry for over 25 years and has been an Executive Chef and Maitre D’Hotel at fine restaurants around the world. He is one of the pioneers of FUSION CUISINE which combines classical French and Mediterranean cooking techniques with a flare of Italian and Spanish as well as a touch of Moroccan cuisine. His talents also include being a pastry chef, and a Wine Sommelier where his wine lists have received Wine Spectators Award of Excellence year after year. David has been featured in many local, national and international magazines including publications such as the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Minnesota Monthly, Bon Appetit, and Los Angeles Times to mention a few. His television appearances are also impressive and include being featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. David was born in Casablanca, Morocco and studied in Strasbourg, Paris, London and Geneva. He speaks 7 languages fluently and brings his international/multicultural flare into all of his dishes.
We are thrilled to welcome Chef Fhima back to this event; he was one of our inaugural Special Guests in 2011.
Hosts: Wendy & Randy Engel
- Mill City Museum staff
David Berg, appearing as William de la Barre
David Berg, one of the gallery staff from the Mill City Museum, will portray William de la Barre for the evening.
William de la Barre (1849-1936)
His career started with a bang, or, more accurately, a “boom!” He was sent to Minneapolis following the Washburn “A” Mill explosion in 1878 to sell a safety device to mill owner C.C. Washburn. What followed was an extraordinary career starting with the design and supervision of construction of the new mill and surrounding buildings and culminated in a 50-year career in water power on St. Anthony Falls.
Hosts: Judy & Orrie Kessel, Diane & Chopper Mintz, Ann & Jerold Gershone
Location: Minneapolis Mill District
- Star Tribune "Escape Artists" Travel Blog contributor & author
Curt Brown has been a Minnesota journalist for 30 years, covering politics, crime, sports and human interest profiles at the Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Associated Press, St. Paul Pioneer Press and, for the last 24 years, the Star Tribune.
His four-month project last summer on the U.S.-Dakota War, “In the Footsteps of Little Crow,” rose to 13th on the New York Times Bestseller list for nonfictions e-books. In 2008, Curt won critical acclaim for his nonfiction book entitled “So Terrible a Storm” about the wicked 1905 gale that slammed Duluth and led to the construction of the Split Rock Lighthouse.
Along with his wife Adele, a longtime lead organizer at Jewish Community Action, Curt has raised three kids in their St. Paul home. He serves as vice president of the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Co. board and recently visited Jewish communities in Uganda with members of the synagogue, Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul.
Hosts: Sheila & Steve Sigel
Location: Lake Minnetonka
- Star Tribune Movie Critic
Back by popular demand!
Colin Covert is the movie reviewer for the Star Tribune. He says he's not a critic, but a reviewer (everybody's a critic). And reviewers get paid. (Not much, but still). Colin's work is syndicated nationally and internationally through the McClatchy News Service and is sometimes outright plagiarized. He has interviewed Michael Caine, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, George Clooney, Peter Jackson, Christian Bale, Kristin Wiig, Jodie Foster, John Waters, Nora Ephron, and John Travolta. Looking back on it, Colin is convinced that Travolta was trying to pick him up during the interview. In 2011 Colin won an award for web-based reporting from the Edward R. Murrow Foundation, a writing award from the national Society for Features Journalism, and was named America's most scathing film critic by some website. He sees more films than is emotionally healthy (more than one a day last year) yet he still feels a thrill when the lights go down. He often feels a greater thrill when they come up again.
Hosts: Rita & Mickey Kieffer and Janie & David A. Berg
Location: Mendota Heights
- American Public Media's Marketplace economics editor
An award winning journalist, Chris Farrell is Senior Economics Contributor at Marketplace, American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio business and personal finance programs. He is a regular columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek, Next Avenue, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He has written for a number of other media outlets. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities on economics and personal finance.
Chris was economics correspondent for American Public Media’s documentary unit, American Radio Works. Among the documentaries he co-produced were Workplace U, After the Projects, Pueblo USA, and Japan’s Pop Power. He was host and executive editor of Right on the Money, a nationally syndicated personal finance series produced by Twin Cities Public Television. He is the author of three books: The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better (2010); Deflation: What Happens When Prices Fall (2004); and Right on the Money: Taking Control of Your Personal Finances (2000). He is a graduate of Stanford University and the London School of Economics.
Hosts: Sheri & Harvey Ettinger and Aida & Larry Miller
Location: Lake Calhoun
- Jazz Vocalist
Here’s your chance to attend a private concert presented by one of the Twin Cities' finest performers of standards music and jazz, Arne Fogel. He charms crowds on nightclub stages across the Twin Cities and now you can enjoy his amazing talent in an intimate setting with his dazzling repertoire (and his repartee!) of the most famous American Jewish composers including the ever-popular George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, and more. Twinkling the ivories is pianist Rick Carlson, who joins Arne frequently onstage, including an appearance at Orchestra Hall with the late Rosemary Clooney! Enjoy this sparkling revue filled with delightful reminiscence, romance and jazz.
Hosts: Peggy & Rick Bloom and Melissa & Sheldon Silberman
- Comedy Historian
Lowell Fox, Comedy Historian and Raconteur, is the creator of The Classic Comedians series. He has been referred to as having “an encyclopedic knowledge of 1950's TV comedy and footage to back it all up!” Lowell's discussion topics have included legendary comics Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason and others accompanied by scores of historical photos and the best samples of their humor from vaudeville, radio, Broadway, film, television and personal appearances. Lowell lectures at California State University-Riverside Palm Desert’s campus and other Palm Springs venues. He also lectures onboard several cruise lines. Lowell has been interviewed on radio, television and newspapers regarding his innovative, laugh-filled presentations.
Hosts: Ellen & Joe Konstan
Location: Summit Avenue - St. Paul
- Radio Personality
Jordana Green has spent her career bringing you the news, and more recently the weather. She started her career as a field producer at FOX-5 in NYC, then as the medical reporter at WBRE-TV, Wiles-Barre, PA. She moved to the Midwest to launch the morning show at FOX-59 in Indianapolis. Then Minnesota called, and Jordana answered by anchoring FOX-29’s primary newscast while earning an Emmy for on-camera excellence.
Before coming to WCCO, Jordana helped launch WeatherNation TV in Excelsior, MN. She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Jordana resides in Minnesota with her three children.
Hosts: Jane & Todd Lifson
- President of Basketball Operations, Minnesota Timberwolves
David Kahn is in his third season as the Timberwolves' President of Basketball Operations after being named to the position on May 22, 2009. During his first two years with the organization, Kahn has overseen the transformation of the roster into a young, athletic and up-tempo team, while also working to change the organizational culture through expanding the basketball operations and player development staff and upgrading the team's facilities.
During his tenure in Minnesota, Kahn has been one of the most active basketball executives in the league. He has executed 22 trades since joining the Wolves in an effort to reshape the roster into one that is younger and more athletic, all while drastically improving the team's salary cap flexibility. The Wolves enter the 2011-12 season with just one returning player from the 2008-09 team Kahn inherited, yet are poised to have as much cap space as any team in the league this season to continue acquiring future assets. Kahn brings a wealth of diverse skills to the Timberwolves stemming from previous positions in both the on court and business sides of professional basketball, including nine years on the basketball operations staff of the Indiana Pacers. In addition to holding the titles of Assistant to the President for one season and Assistant General Manager for two years, Kahn also served four seasons as the team's General Manager, where he worked with and learned from one of the most storied minds in the league in Donnie Walsh.
In his role as GM, Kahn assisted Walsh with player acquisitions, trades, the NBA Draft, contract negotiations and salary cap management. Additionally, Kahn represented the Pacers on the NBA's Competition Committee, and also oversaw the design, development and marketing of Conseco Fieldhouse, widely considered one of the premier venues in the league. The Fieldhouse elevated the Pacers into the top third of the league in local revenue, despite being the NBA's fifth-smallest market. From the time Kahn joined the Pacers organization in 1995 until his departure in 2004, the team compiled a 430-276 (.609) record, made eight playoff appearances and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals four times, including an NBA Finals appearance in 2000.
In 2002, Kahn transitioned his work with the Pacers into an advisory role and began spearheading an effort to bring Major League Baseball to his hometown of Portland, Ore. Kahn helped create the Oregon Stadium Campaign, a private entity that led Portland's drive for an MLB franchise during the league's relocation of the Montreal Expos. He led the lobbying efforts that resulted in a $150 million construction bill for a new baseball stadium in Portland while serving as Mayor Vera Katz's Special Advisor on baseball until her retirement in 2004.
Prior to joining the Timberwolves, Kahn spent the previous four years working with the NBA Development League through Southwest Basketball, LLC. Kahn's company owned and operated five D-League teams. Kahn's involvement proved instrumental in the growth of the D-League from eight to 16 teams and the development of the D-League as an NBA farm system with affiliations to NBA teams. After graduating from UCLA in 1983, Kahn began his career in sports as a writer and columnist covering the NBA for the Portland Oregonian from 1984-89 before joining the staff of NBC's "NBA Showtime" studio show from 1990-95.While serving as a basketball consultant for the show and working closely with the on-air talent including Bob Costas, Julius Erving and Pat Riley, Kahn earned his law degree at New York University in 1993 and later began working for Proskauer Rose LLP, the firm that provides outside counsel to the NBA and a variety of other sports entities.
Hosts: Amy & Todd Geller and Stacy Pinck & Brad Birnberg
- MinnPost writer
- Author of "Secrets of the Congdon Mansion"
Joe Kimball worked as a news reporter and columnist at the Star Tribune for 31 years and now writes about state and local politics for MinnPost, the Minnesota online news site.
His biggest story came in 1977, when he was a rookie reporter and stumbled across the Congdon murders in Duluth. He has covered the case ever since, including the murder investigations, the trials and the continuing legal problems of Majorie Congdon Caldwell Hagen.
His book, “Secrets of the Congdon Mansion,” takes an inside look at the infamous murder case, and also provides information useful about the tours of the mansion.
Kimball's wife, Julie Kramer, is the popular mystery author who writes the Riley Spartz novels.
Hosts: Joy Leibman & Ruth Aaron
- Healer, Accupuncturist, Homeopath
Warren King is a gifted natural healer who has dedicated his life to helping patients heal from within so they can enjoy a happy and balanced life of vibrant physical, emotional and spiritual heath. Also a talented instructor and engaging speaker, he helps all ages utilize divine intelligence and inner wisdom to take control of their own health and wholeness.
Patients from all over the world seek Warren’s help with a myriad of concerns. They love his patient, compassionate and considerate manner, and know he’s able to communicate with their body and soul, treating their whole being not just the symptoms. Many patients have been completely healed form illnesses including those related to the nervous, digestive and hormonal systems as well as autoimmune diseases, and they have been able to successfully eliminate extreme medications and surgeries.
Warren feels he has the best job in the world, relieving all types of suffering at many levels with very interesting and unique people. “Every case is like a detective story, we peel the layers of the onion of healing to get to the core and see someone transform their life,” says Warren. Each person is tested individually for the most beneficial healing modality with a focus on foods, herbs, homeopathics, and energy, or qi, allowing the body to heal itself.
Raised in a medical family, Warren initially pursued a career in traditional medicine, but after experiencing the benefits of meditation and a healthy diet he soon sought an alternative approach to drugs and surgery. Warren did premedical studies at Cornell University and then graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies. His focus was on dreams and transpersonal psychology. He also earned a California Holistic Health Certificate.
He began his formal studies in Oriental Medicine at the New England School of Acupuncture. He also attended the Kushi Institute to study Macrobiotics. He’s studied Zen Shiatsu and is a Medical Qi Gong Instructor. He continued to study Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology under some of the finest Chinese medical doctors in the country at the Midwest Center of Oriental Medicine in Chicago. He interned with advanced oriental medical doctors in Boston, Montana, and Chicago as well as the Cook County Hospital Pain Clinic in Chicago. He received his National certification to practice Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine over 20 years ago. He received training in Auricular Medicine with Dr. Mikhael Adams in Canada and studied Homeopathy with some of the finest European Doctors in Toronto. Specializing in Auricular Therapy has provided him an unusual degree of precision and accuracy in diagnosis and treatment, as he is able to interact with the intelligence of the body, the subconscious mind and the soul.
Warren’s frequent editorial contributions include articles on Auricular Medicine, healing and spirituality. Some of his hands-on instructional classes include The New Paradigm in Healing, Love your Organs, Love Yourself and Raising Extraordinary and Healthy Children. As the keynote speaker at Horst Salons he spoke on Natural Health and Beauty, has been interviewed on cable television by Tina Johnson with Body, Mind, Spirit, and has also spoken on topics including Natural Health, Natural Medicine, Health on a Budget, and How to Regain Your Health.
Warren loves to spend time with his wife, his kids - who have been raised in a totally natural way - and his Sheltie dog. He runs a spiritual book study group and is active in his church. He loves studying spirituality and health and doing Qi Gong and yoga. He’s also interested in quantum physics, astronomy, astrology and dream study. Warren has a large organic garden, takes ballroom dancing lessons and loves Indian Ragas as well as listening to classical music at Orchestra Hall.
Hosts: Linda & Mike Fiterman and Pearl & Danny Berdass
- Chef, Author, Restaurateur
Award winning chef and restaurateur Brenda Langton, is a pioneer of fresh, local and sustainable food. Since the early 1970’s, she has worked directly with local producers and growers starting as a member of the early vegetarian cooperative restaurant – Commonplace.
She opened her first restaurant, Cafe Kardamena, in 1978 in St. Paul, MN featuring locally sourced gourmet vegetarian cuisine and fresh seafood at a time when most American’s were still eating a meat and potatoes diet. Brenda was inspired both by the Minneapolis/St. Paul natural foods co-op movement and by her extensive travels in Europe where the markets and restaurants she encountered were rooted in regional ingredients.
In 1986 she opened the eponymous Cafe Brenda in downtown Minneapolis where she continued to provide her innovative dining experience on a larger scale. It quickly became a top twin cities destination and received acclaim on both a local and national level.
“The Cafe Brenda Cookbook – Redefining Seafood and Vegetarian Cuisine”, was published in 1992 and has become a popular standard for healthy home cooking. Cookbook author Deborah Madison calls it “an appealing collection of recipes that promises to deliver abundant flavor.” After 23 successful years, Brenda closed the Cafe in 2009.
Spoonriver, Brenda’s third restaurant opened in 2006 in the revitalized Mississippi River Front Mill District of Minneapolis, offering a broader palate including grass-fed beef, lamb and naturally raised pork from Minnesota sources. At Spoonriver she still relies on the finest, freshest local produce as the foundation of her seasonal menus.
As Spoonriver launched, Brenda founded the Mill City Farmers’ Market, which is located just outside the restaurants front door. Also taking place on the Chicago Av. Plaza and the restored Train Shed of the Mill City Museum, adjacent to the Tyrone Guthrie Theater. The market houses about 70 vendors every Saturday from May to October and specializes in local, sustainable and organic foods and products. The MCFM is a community-based enterprise offering weekly educational cooking demonstrations featuring seasonal market specialties. The Market also runs year round with monthly gatherings inside the Mill City Museum from November to April.
Brenda shares her knowledge and experience as a culinary instructor, speaker and consultant on healthy diet in the community. She’s been a repeat judge for the James Beard Foundation’s annual cookbook awards and is an advisor on product development to the food industry and large Minnesota-based retailers. As a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality, she shares her knowledge in teaching cooking class courses.
In 2009, a collaboration with the Children’s Hospital Integrative Medicine program, Brenda and her daughter Celina produced a 30-minute video and accompanying ChowKids™ Cookbook. Conceived as a fun, informal and informative tool for “healthy cooking” to be played in-room at the hospital. Available to the public, the video & book package is an entertaining tool for teaching families how a healthy diet can help them feel better and heal their bodies.
In May of 2012, Brenda published her third book the “The Spoonriver Cookbook”. Sighting the need for a simple yet comprehensive edition, she includes updated recipes from The Cafe Brenda Cookbook along with favorite additions from Spoonriver. Blue Zones author Dan Buettner says: “Buy this book if you want to live longer. No one in the world can better combine ingredients. She not only make us healthier but eating her way make us better people.”
You will find Brenda at Spoonriver most days along with her husband and business partner, Timothy Kane.
Hosts: Sandy & Joe Wolkowicz
Location: Mendota Heights
- Owner, Coastal Seafoods
Suzanne Weinstein is owner and president of Coastal Seafoods. She founded Coastal Seafoods in 1981 after employment in such wide ranging fields as candy-making and banking. Over the past 32 years, Coastal has grown to supply over 200 restaurants, coops, and catering companies in the Twin Cities and surrounding area with the highest quality fish and seafood. The two retail outlets in Minneapolis and St. Paul serve thousands of loyal customers each year. Suzanne remains active in her community, serving on the boards of Seward Civic and Commerce Association and Seward Redesign. In her free time she enjoys knitting, gardening, yoga and meditation.
Hosts: Sandy & Joe Wolkowicz
Location: Mendota Heights
- Dean, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Dr. Levine is Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and Director of the Minnesota Experiment Station at the University of Minnesota. He is also Director of the Minnesota Obesity Center, a National Institutes of Health funded collaborative research group of more than 60 federally funded investigators from the University, the Mayo Clinic, the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, HealthPartners, and Hennepin County Medical Center. Dr. Levine is a professor in the departments of Food Science and Nutrition, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience graduate faculties at the University of Minnesota.
Hosts: Toba & Allen Freeman and Nancy & Jeff Getzkin
Location: St. Paul
- myTalk 107.1 Hosts
Lori & Julia
Lori & Julia excel at living life to the fullest, openly sharing their victories and failures and generously dispensing fashion and beauty advice. They don’t hesitate to engage in beauty experiments, researching what works and what doesn’t for the good of womankind. They dutifully commit to watching hours of TV and keeping up on the latest celebrity gossip – so you can too. They are smart talking yet sensible and are famous for pushing the proverbial envelope. Known for their “tell it like it is” approach to sex, love, relationships , parenting– they’ve raised lots of eyebrows over the years. But as duo’s go, Lori and Julia don’t always agree on everything in life. They have an opinion about everything and battle it out between themselves and callers.
Lori & Julia, along with Producer Donny Love, laugh through life together every day on myTalk 107.1
Hosts: Becca & Jon Kvasnik and Sheila & David Leventhal
Location: Sunfish Cellars in Lilydale
- Executive Chef, Chino Latino
Tuan Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in the Twin Cities. His Vietnamese heritage, with its distinctive blend of refined French flavors and delicate Asian vegetables were melded with Minnesota’s utilitarian “meat and potatoes” cuisine to give him a unique perspective.
He was educated at the University of Wisconsin in restaurant and hotel management. Tuan decided early on in his career that the back of the house was where his true passion lay. After working at some outstanding Twin Cities restaurants, including the former Goodfellows, Tuan relocated to Las Vegas. He joined the Wolfgang Puck organization where he was made “Chef of the Year” at age 30. Chef Tuan earned an exemplary reputation and was promoted to General Manager/Executive Chef of one of Wolfgang’s highest volume restaurants in the MGM Grand Casino. In 2004, Tuan moved back to Minnesota with his wife and three young sons in order to improve the family’s quality of life. He became Executive Chef at the California Café and the Napa Valley Grille restaurants located in the Mall of America. During that time, Tuan displayed his passion as a philanthropic chef in the Twin Cities supporting several charitable causes including the March of Dimes. Tuan then went on to open Thom Pham’s upscale restaurant Temple in downtown Minneapolis and was credited for the innovative Asian-French fusion menu. In 2007, Tuan joined the Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill as their Corporate Chef, overseeing four restaurants and leading their efforts to bring high quality menu creations to the forefront of the casual dining experience.
Tuan’s focus on Guest Obsession drives his passion and creative flair. Chef Tuan is thrilled to be a part of the Parasole group; Twin Cities arguably most successful restaurant group. As a Culinary Operation Chef he is responsible for overseeing 13 restaurants and works closely with each chef to create best practices. Chef Tuan believes that food should stimulate the eyes as well as the palate, and he’s determined to impress each and every guest with a distinctive dining experience. Food is his passion and family is his heart. The two make for a winning combination for this experienced and well rounded passionate young chef.
Hosts: Debbie & Chad Goldenberg and Bill Lipschultz
- Executive Editor, Twin Cities Business
Adam Platt is has been a journalist in the Twin Cities since 1985 covering beats as disparate as media criticism, travel, food/dining, and all manner of urban affairs topics. He spent nearly a decade at the Twin Cities Reader, followed by a tour of duty at the Star Tribune, a long tenure at MplsStPaul Magazine, and now at Twin Cities Business as its executive editor.
Hosts: Shirley & Marshall Besikof
- Minnesota Secretary of State
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie partners with township, city, and county officials to organize elections on behalf of Minnesota’s 3.7 million eligible voters.
Ritchie also oversees a wide range of services for Minnesota businesses provided by the Office of Secretary of State, including the archiving of official documents. He is also responsible for administering Safe at Home, Minnesota’s address confidentiality program.
Secretary Ritchie serves on the State Executive Council, the State Board of Investment, the Twin Cities Army Community Advisory Board and on the Board of the Minnesota Historical Society. He served as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State during 2011 and has been a member of the NASS executive board since 2010. He was recently appointed by Governor Dayton to co-chair the Civil War Commemoration Task Force.
Secretary Ritchie has been a faculty member for election law seminars conducted by the Minnesota Institute for Legal Education, the Minnesota and Hennepin County Bar Associations, the University of Minnesota and William and Mary Law School.
The Department of the Army presented Secretary Ritchie with their Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service. He was recognized for his dedicated support to the well-being of soldiers and army families, "Secretary Ritchie's unwavering dedication, patriotism, and compassion are an inspiration and reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Army Recruiting Command, the United States Army Accessions Command and the United States Army."
The 2011 Dwight David Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Award was presented to Secretary Ritchie. This award recognizes the promotion of peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation; one individual at a time, one community at a time.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie received the 2011 Distinguished Public Leadership Award from Toward Zero Deaths for his leadership in helping to motivate law enforcement officers, legislators and the public to continue to fight against drunk driving.
In the 1980s, Ritchie served in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture working to address the economic crisis threatening family farms and rural communities. He served as the president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy from 1988 to 2006.
Ritchie and his wife Nancy live in Minneapolis
Hosts: Yaffa & Mark Appelbaum
Location: Golden Valley
- Sports Reporter - KARE 11
Making a repeat appearance in 2013, Sports reporter Dave Schwartz joined KARE-11 TV in August 2007. He earned a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S. I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Dave had a stint as the so-called iPhone Foodie when he wrote restaurant reviews on KARE-11’s now-defunct entertainment website metromix.com. When he’s not working, Dave enjoys working out, cooking and playing ice hockey, and insists that he’d give it all up for a shot with the New York Rangers.
Hosts: Karen & Bruce Gershman
- Department of Political, Homeland Security, Interreligious and Minority Affairs, Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest
Since coming to the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest in August 1997, Bob Schwartz has held a number of positions culminating in his promotion to Senior Policy Advisor in August, 2006.
As Senior Policy Advisor, Bob advises the diplomatic staff on a wide range of political, economic, Jewish, interfaith and minority community issues.
Political Affairs responsibilities include arranging meetings with political leaders, preparing in-depth reports on how Israel is perceived, positions taken and legislation sponsored by U.S. Senators and Representatives as well as Governors, state and local legislators and officials in the region. Bob also analyzes the impact of Midwest political and economic developments on Israel.
Bob works with the Israel Economic Mission to the Midwest as well as with private organizations, such as the America Israel Chamber of Commerce, Chicago and the Michigan-Israel Business Bridge, to assess and pursue opportunities in this region for Israeli economic and commercial partnerships, especially with Israel’s hi-tech sectors.
Bob recently acquired the Homeland Security portfolio and works with Israeli police and HLS agencies and organizations to sponsor conferences and training workshops for Midwest-based federal, state and local HLS and Law Enforcement agencies as well as recruit candidates for HLS conferences in Israel.
As the Consulate's point person on Interreligious and Minority Affairs, Bob evaluates and reports on the perceptions and reactions of non-Jewish communities toward Israel and its policies. His duties also include encouraging support for Israel from non-Jewish and minority communities and combating anti-Israel campaigns such as Divestment. Bob works with the Israel Tourism Office to encourage and facilitate various Christian religious leaders and communities to go on pilgrimages to Israel.
Bob was the Senior Consulting Editor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ official publication: Israel at 60: From Modest Beginnings to a Vibrant State 1948-2008 which was published in August, 2008.
Bob received a B.A. in International Relations from Lake Forest College (1971), and subsequently earned two Masters Degrees from the University of Chicago: International Relations (1985), and Public Policy Studies (1987) -- the latter from the Irving R. Harris School of Public Policy.
Hosts: Laura & Simeon Schindelman
- Minneapolis City Attorney
Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal
Susan was appointed in 2008 as the Minneapolis City Attorney. Ms. Segal leads a staff of over 100 employees, including 65 attorneys who handle all legal matters and litigation for the City and prosecute all misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crime in the City. The office handles over 25,000 criminal cases a year. As City Attorney, Susan’s work has been varied, ranging from negotiations over the Vikings Stadium and the renovation of Target Center to defending the constitutionality of instant runoff voting in the Minnesota Supreme Court. Her office has won a number of awards for innovative work in community prosecution and she has worked to further the City’s progress in combatting domestic violence and juvenile sex trafficking. Susan was previously in private practice and was a partner at the Gray Plant law firm.
Susan is married to Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans; both will be the Special Guests at this home. They live in Minneapolis with their two sons.
Hosts: Diane & Allen Kuperman
- Minnesota Revenue Commissioner
Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans
Myron, a tax lawyer by training, was appointed the Commissioner of Revenue by Governor Dayton in 2011. As Commissioner, he was charged, among other tasks, with developing a comprehensive tax reform proposal to end the cycle of budget deficits and one-time fixes while allowing the State to invest in key priorities important to all Minnesotans. Myron has held over 170 meetings in over 50 cities hearing from Minnesotans on their ideas for reform. He has been called “Minnesota’s tax guru” as he has explained the problems with our current tax system, using his now famous three legged stools. Prior to joining the Dayton administration, Myron was a small business owner and a partner in tax law at Faegre & Benson.
Myron is married to Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal; both will be the Special Guests at this home. They live in Minneapolis with their two sons.
Hosts: Diane & Allen Kuperman
- President, General Mills Baking Products
Ann Simonds was named president in 2006, first of the Baking Division and then of Pillsbury in 2010. Today, she serves as president of the recently combined Mill City Division that oversees our baking aisle and fresh dough brands, which are Betty Crocker, Gold Medal, Bisquick and Pillsbury.
A 1990 graduate of Harvard’s MBA program, Ann spent five years as a marketer for Johnson & Johnson in the U.S. and Europe. Ann joined General Mills in 1995. She has stewarded classic, leading brands such as Yoplait, Cheerios, and Wheaties in both established and new product roles. In addition, she has grown through several non-traditional assignments including commercialization of MyCereal.com and as general manager in Brands on the Go.
Driving profitable growth through strategic philanthropy has always been a passion for Ann resulting in programs such as the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Literacy Program and Stirring Up Wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Today, she is energized by the transformation of the art of marketing in the digital age and is learning to lead and build community in an “always on” world.
Ann serves on the advisory council for the Women’s Forum helping General Mills achieve the Catalyst Award and Top Ten Companies for Working Mothers three times. In addition, she sits on the General Mills Ethics and Compliance Committee, Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Board and the Future of Marketing Steering Committee.
Outside of General Mills Ann is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization, participates in the National Association of Female Executives Top 30 Round Table, and serves on the Hennepin Theater Trust Board of Directors.
Ann and her husband Ken enjoy a busy home life with their five children who remain their best baking partners.
Hosts: Cheryl Ravich
- Under 40s Special Guests
- The Perennial Plate - Adventures in Sustainable Eating
Under 40s - Mirra Fine & Daniel Klein
The Perennial Plate is an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating. Chef and Activist, Daniel Klein and Co-producer/Cameragirl Mirra Fine are traveling the world exploring the wonders, complexities and stories behind the ever more connected global food system. The episodes follow the culinary, agricultural and hunting explorations of Daniel Klein. Season One took place over a calendar year in Minnesota where every Monday for 52 weeks, the duo released short films about good food. In Season Two, Klein and Fine traveled across America, taking the viewer on a journey to appreciate and understand where good food comes from and how to enjoy it. In their current season, Klein and Fine travel to China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa and Ethiopia to tell the stories of real food and the people who make it.
The Perennial Plate has been written up in the NYTimes Dining, LATimes, BBC Travel, Food & Wine Magazine, Saveur Online and Bon Appetite Online, etc. It is currently syndicated on The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and Serious Eats. And Klein and Fine are regulars on The Splendid Table.
After learning to cook at his mother’s bed and breakfast, Daniel went on to work and train at many of the world’s top restaurants. His culinary education brought him to Spain, France, England, India and New York, where he has worked and trained at top Michelin starred restaurants including The Fat Duck (Heston Blumenthal), St. John (Fergus Henderson), Mugaritz (Andoni Luis Aduriz), Bouchon (Thomas Keller),Applewood (David Shea) and Craft (Tom Collichio). After graduating from NYU, Daniel also pursued a career in film. He has directed, filmed, edited and produced projects on various issues including the development industry in Africa ( “What are we doing here?”) and oil politics. Daniel is the founder of The Perennial Plate.
Co-Producer, Cameragal, Assistant Editor and Vegetarian, Mirra has never cooked at any fancy restaurants. However, she has worked at some of New York’s top marketing firms, (including J Walter Thompson and Kirshenbaum Bond), and for the City of New York. She is a graphic designer and freelance writer. Mirra became a vegetarian as a result of the first episode of the show.
Hosts: Michelle Horovitz & Adam Klarfeld and Natalie & Drew Zamansky
- Under 40s Special Guests
- Co-Host of WCCO-TV Saturday Morning Show & "Best of Minnesota" Series
Under 40s - Matt Brickman
Matt Brickman is the co-host of WCCO's Saturday Morning Show, mans the weather wall on weekend mornings and takes viewer votes in his "Best of Minnesota" series. From finding the best donut in Winona, Minn., to the best holiday lights in Duluth, Minn., and everything in between, Matt travels all over our state.
Matt grew up in New England, started his television career in Champaign, Ill., and then attended Mississippi State University where he studied broadcast meteorology.
Hosts: Mollie & Roy Krengel and Abbey & Seth Baker
- Under 40s Special Guest
- Fox 9 Reporter
Under 40s - Todd Walker
Todd is currently working as the “Man About Town” features reporter for FOX TV in Minneapolis. His TV experience includes being an on-air host for many different TV related projects including Home Shopping Host, Infomercial Spokesperson and various TV Commercials. Todd has also worked as an on-air radio host and as a print model.
You may also recognize Todd from his three year run as Host and Executive producer of the nationally syndicated TV show “Million Dollar Idea”. Todd is often seen hosting or emceeing a variety of different events. His work has also included time as an executive in the corporate sector at Best Buy Corporation, Periscope Advertising Agency, McNally Smith College of Music and as a talent agent, representing well-known clients in the entertainment industry. Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Marketing and Communications from Concordia College, St. Paul, MN.
Hosts: Mollie & Roy Krengel and Abbey & Seth Baker
- Under 40s Special Guest
- Psychic Medium & Author
Under 40s - Jodi Livon
Intuitive Coach, Medium, and Author Jodi Livon, delivers straightforward guidance to approaching some of life’s most challenging events!
For more than 20 years Jodi has used her psychic skills professionally. An intuitive coach for the business sector, she also offers readings for individuals. She is a regular guest and Resident Psychic on KSTP-TV’s Twin Cities Live and is a popular guest on local and national radio including Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. Her first book, The Happy Medium: Awakening to Your Natural Intuition (Llewellyn, 2009), has received many accolades. Publishers Weekly called it “…a solid and measured discussion that may give skeptics a reason to reconsider.”
She lives in Minnetonka with her husband and three children
Jodi says, "Trusting my intuition has empowered me as a woman and business owner and helped me bring more joy and success into my life. I thought I would touch on this, my own natural intuitive process and how people can learn to tune in and recognize their own intuitive voice."
Hosts: Dawn & Danny Zouber and Lauren & Ed Hoffman
- Under 40s Special Guest
- Offensive Tackle for the Minnesota Vikings
Under 40s - Phil Loadholt
Phil Loadholt has been a member of the Minnesota Vikings since being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Loadholt has been a mainstay on the Vikings’ offensive line’ starting all 63 games in which he has played. He was also named to the 2009 NFL All-Rookie team. Loadholt has been heavily involved with numerous philanthropic organizations throughout Minnesota including the Vikings “You Made the Team” Community Tour and visiting troops at a US Army recruiting station in Bloomington. He played his college football at the University of Oklahoma.
Hosts: Josh Mann and Sara & Blake Baratz
Location: Downtown Minneapoilis
- Under 40s Special Guest
- Co-Hosts of Jason & Alexis in the Morning on myTalk 107.1
Under 40s - Jason & Alexis
They met 7 years ago and it has been radio love ever since! You can hear Jason and Alexis In The Morning on myTalk 107.1 weekdays from 5-9 am. The two besties spin through the world of pop culture and celebrity with a heaping help of wackiness and laughs. Jason loves the classic show Dallas and playing bingo while Alexis can't get enough of the world of crafting and anything with Law and Order or CSI in front of it. They both love their dogs and depending on the day...their partners.
Hosts: Sarah & Avi Olitzky
Location: St. Louis Park