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Board Chair                                              

Lisa Christianson

Owner and Founder, Christianson & Company Commercial Real Estate Services

Lisa Christianson founded The Retail Marketing Group in 1991, a company focused on marketing shopping malls and neighborhood strip centers. She grew the company to six employees and sold it in 1996. From there she worked as an investment broker at Griffin Companies, a Minneapolis-based commercial real estate firm. In 2001 she formed Christianson & Company Commercial Real Estate Services.

Lisa has been very active in several small business ventures as owner and marketing specialist. She has been managing investment properties, including her own portfolio, since 1993 providing accounting, leasing, management, acquisition and disposition services. The experience gained and the relationships she’s developed over the past 20+ years have proven to be great assets in ensuring smooth transactions for she and her clients.
Lisa heads up the company’s tenant representation division – enjoying the opportunity to work with other business owners and help them understand how their choices regarding their space affects their brand, employees, strategic plan, and budget. Lisa also oversees all of Christianson & Company’s listings, emphasizing superior communication with property owners and maximum marketing exposure for the properties.
Lisa is currently on the board of the Minnesota Association of Commercial Realtors (MNCAR) Exchange as Treasurer and 2012 President Elect and serves as the MNCAR representative on the board of the Minnesota Association of Realtors. She is a member of MNCAR and the Minnesota Shopping Center Association. Truly passionate about helping to make the lives of children less fortunate better, Lisa serves on the board of Connections to Independence.
Board Co-Chair

Beth Forsythe

Associate Attorney, Dorsey & Whitney

Beth Forsythe is a litigator. Her civil practice includes commercial litigation before federal and state courts. In her white collar and internal corporate investigations practice, she represents corporations and individuals in need of internal investigative assistance or who are under investigation by federal and state authorities for securities fraud, health care fraud, mortgage fraud, public corruption, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") violations. Beth is co-author of Dorsey’s monthly Anti-Corruption Digest


Board Treasurer

Cecilia Clements


Board Secretary

Janine Sanders Jones

Assistant Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management

Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas

Janine Sanders Jones is an assistant professor in operations and supply chain management at the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.  She has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Ohio University, MS in Industrial Administration from Purdue University, and a PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management from the University of Minnesota.  She worked as an industrial engineer and process engineer in the pharmaceutical industry before joining academia.  Her research interests include quality management, process management, and organization culture.  She currently teaches a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level including Introduction to Operations Management, Statistics, and Operations Strategy. 

Presently, Janine serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Community Development/KMOJ and volunteers with her church.  In her spare time, Janine enjoys making party favors and decorations and spending time with family.  


Community Representative

Michael Forsythe

Residential Review Analyst, Wells Fargo

Mike Forsythe currently oversees of team of Residential Appraisal Review Analysts at Wells Fargo Bank, and has been involved in the mortgage lending and appraisal industries for nine years.  He has previously volunteered with People Serving People – an area homeless shelter – and at the Pride Festival in Minneapolis.  Mike's passion for youth in foster care stems from his own experience growing up with his foster brother, Jim.  When Jim was a young boy placed in the foster care system, he was fortunate enough to find a family who shared not only a loving home, but much needed guidance and support during his adolescence through adulthood.  Far too many children in the foster care system lack an opportunity at such stability and consistency during their development into adulthood.  In being introduced to Connections to Independence Mike learned how this unique organization has carefully identified specific areas of need amongst foster youth, and developed proven methods to ensure a successful transition from the foster system into independent adulthood.


Community Representative

Mark Criner III

Attorney at Law


Community Representative

Paul Tatro

Grants & Development


Community Representative

Kevin Ward

President, Management HQ, LLC



Louis J. King, President Summit Academy OIC

Dr. Robert Jones, President University of Albany 

Susan Ault, Casey Family Programs

Leo Lewis, Ph.D. Athletic Director, Minneapolis Public Schools North High School