Candidate Forum Luncheon

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Name: Candidate Forum Luncheon
Date: September 13, 2016
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM CDT
Registration: Online registration for this event is closed. Please call the Chamber at 651.578.0722.
Event Description:

2016 Candidate Forum: House and Senate
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
11:30 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M.
Eagle Valley Golf Course
2600 Double Eagle Lane, Woodbury
Box Lunch: Members $16, Non-Members $22

Register now to attend a Senate and House Candidate Forum over the lunch hour. This is a great opportunity to hear from the candidates, gain a better understanding of the candidates’ platform, and ask questions before Election Day.  The event is open to Chamber members and the public.
Minnesota Senate District 53

Susan Kent, Incumbent
 Senator Susan Kent represents District 53 in the Minnesota Senate, including Woodbury, Landfall, and the southern portions of Maplewood and Oakdale. Elected in 2012, Kent is the Vice Chair of the Transportation and Public Safety committee. She also serves on the committees for E-12 Education Finance and Policy, as well as    Higher Education and Workforce Development.  Senator Kent lives in Woodbury with her husband, Chris, and their 15-year-old son, Andrew. Like many in the community, Kent’s engagement as an active parent guided her to numerous volunteer roles. She served on several school district working groups and as PTA President, and she has spent countless hours in district classrooms. Her volunteer work in child abuse prevention and prenatal counseling for high-risk women further demonstrates her commitment to healthy families, especially for children.  In addition, Senator Kent has more than 20 years of professional experience in strategic marketing and media. This experience – ranging from major corporations and small businesses to government, tourism, and local arts and non-profit organizations – gives her a strong understanding of the businesses and employers that contribute to our communities. Her combination of private and public experience illustrates her dedication for building a strong future for our community and Minnesota.
Sharna Wahlgren, Candidate
Sharna Wahlgren has deep roots in our community - she's lived here all her life and graduated from Harding High School. Sharna is committed to giving back to our community, keeping it strong and making it better. She serves on numerous boards,and now seeks to serve in the State Senate.
 Sharna was named one of Minnesota’s Best Lawyers.  She has more than 20 years of private practice experience with some of Minnesota’s best firms.  She’s been a public defender and city attorney.  Since 2000, she’s focused on patent matters in a wide variety of industries. Sharna graduated from the U of Minnesota, with degrees in economics and political science.  She then worked for Sen. Rudy Boschwitz on his small business committee staff.  She returned to the University of Minnesota Law School and graduated with honors. Sharna loves being active.  She enjoys waterskiing and downhill skiing.  Her dad, who died of ALS in 2014, fostered Sharna’s love of the BWCA.  Sharna and her husband, Russ Vander Wiel, have been married for 20 years; they’re members of Gloria Dei Lutheran.  Russ works at 3M and sings with the Minnesota Chorale.  Their lives are blessed with a dozen nieces and nephews.

 Minnesota House District 53A

 JoAnn Ward, Incumbent
 Representative, Minnesota House District 53A, elected  November 2012; re-elected 2014.  She is a long-time Woodbury Leader in Education, Business, and Community Service.  JoAnn
 trains business and civic leaders in collaboration and conflict  management. A Vocational High School Teacher in the Seattle Public Schools, she moved to Woodbury with her husband in 1974.  Their children grew up in District 833 Schools.  Her school volunteer work led to her leading two successful school levy campaigns rallying 1000 volunteers.  She was a successful Woodbury Executive Sales Associate for Burnet Realty for 13 years. After earning her MA in Education - Human Resource Development at St Thomas University, she became Executive Director of a non-profit Restorative Justice Agency in S. St Paul.  Her Legislative focus has extended beyond issues of state budget, early childhood development, health and human service, and public safety to improving relationships and processes in the MN legislature.  Working with the National Institute for Civil Discourse she has help lead seminars for other State Legislatures across the country.  JoAnn and her husband have been married for 49 years.  Their three children and six grandchildren all live in Minnesota.  

 Andy Turnonie, Candidate
 Andy is a lifelong Minnesotan and a resident of  Woodbury/South Maplewood since 2003. He grew up in Cloquet, MN and graduated from the University of Wisconsin
 River Falls in 1996 with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication.  Andy met his wife, Kendre (a University of Florida graduate) while at UWRF and were married in September 2001. After graduating from college he was employed at an entry-level clerical job in the mortgage/home finance industry and worked his way up to originating home mortgages through 2005 (the timing of his exit from the mortgage industry was not accidental, as he saw the housing bubble taking shape). For the last 10 years he has been employed as a business-to-business Account Executive in the telecommunication and publishing industries.  Andy and his wife have two boys, ages 9 and 4.  They are members of Guardian Angels Church in Oakdale.  He coaches his son’s football team in the Fall and in his spare time enjoys playing guitar in a band and golfing. Andy is very excited for the opportunity to serve in St. Paul.
Minnesota House District 53B

 Kelly Fenton, Incumbent
 Kelly Fenton is serving her first term in the Minnesota House of Representatives, proudly serving the people of District 53B in  Woodbury. She is Vice Chair of the Rules and Legislative Administration Committee, and also serves on the Education Finance,   Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance, and Government Operations and Elections Policy committees, along with the Subcommittee on Metropolitan Council Accountability and Transparency and the Select Committee on Affordable Child Care. Kelly came to the Minnesota Legislature with a diverse background in public service and education.  A former school teacher and alternative certification trainer, her goal as a legislator is to improve and expand educational opportunities for students in Minnesota, and ensure every child receives a world-class education.  Long before being elected to the Legislature, Fenton served as president of the board for the Minnesota Excellence in Public Service Series, a nine-month leadership and political training institute for women.  She has a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a master’s degree from the University of Houston.  Kelly lives with her husband, Greg in Woodbury. Together, they have three children.

Alberder Gillespie, Candidate
Alberder is an entrepreneur, strategy consultant, speaker/facilitator, wife and mother.  She has a reputation as a truth-teller, change agent, and strategic problem solver.  Her ability to design and implement strategic action plans that deliver results led to the successful launch of her consulting firm, Collaborative Connections.    As a long-term resident of Woodbury, Alberder has been actively involved in the community.  She is currently serving as the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commissioner, an appointed position by Governor Dayton.  She served as a school board member for South Washington County Schools, a PTA/PSO Board member, a Family Ministry Coordinator and a Sunday School Teacher and Girl Scout Leader.  Her political and professional experiences have prepared her for the opportunity to seek the elected office of state representative.  She deeply cares about the issues affecting the lives of Minnesota residents especially those who live in District 53B.  Issues such as education, economic opportunity, climate change (environment) and transportation are in the forefront of her campaign. Alberder is married to her high school sweetheart, Fred Gillespie, an Electrical Engineer at 3M. They are the proud parents of two South Washington County school graduates, Gabriella, a Senior at Macalester College and Frederick, a sophomore at Carleton College.  



Eagle Valley Golf Course
2600 Double Eagle Lane
Woodbury, MN 55125

Date/Time Information:
September 13, 2016
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Contact Information:
Boxed Lunch from Panera Bread

$16 for members
$22 for non-members

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