Board of Trustees
Blake's Board of Trustees is charged with ensuring Blake's long-term strength, growth and vitality. The board provides fiduciary, strategic and generative leadership and helps steward the mission and values of the school into the future. The board works closely with the Head of School. See Board of Trustees qualifications.
Blake's Board of Trustees for the 2022-23 School Year
Amy Saldanha, Chair, is founder and CEO of Kiddywampus, a specialty toy retailer and art studio located in Hopkins. She has practiced law as a civil litigator in Chicago, followed by positions in operations and talent management at several digital startups. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in political science and speech communications. She holds a social sciences degree in political philosophy from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. She earned her J.D. from Valparaiso School of Law.
Chad Abraham serves as CEO of Piper Sandler and is a member of the firm's board of directors. He joined Piper Sandlar Companies in 1991 as an investment banking analyst and served for 13 years on the West Coast as a banker in the technology investment banking group. In 1999, he became managing director and head of technology investment banking. In 2005, he became head of capital markets and in 2010, he became the global co-head of investment banking and capital markets. Chad serves on the board of the Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota chapter of the Nature Conservancy. He received a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Northwestern University.
Kelly Baker is executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Thrivent. Prior to that, she served as chief human resources officer at Pentair and led human resources at Patterson Companies and General Mills. She serves on the board of the Children’s Theater Company, where she leads its Diversity, Inclusion and Human Capital Committee. Kelly received a B.B.A. from Howard University and an M.B.A. from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Mosi Bennett, Treasurer, is a partner and senior consulting cardiologist specializing in heart failure and transplantation at the Minneapolis Heart Institute. Before joining the group in 2013, he trained in cardiovascular medicine and advanced heart failure at the Cleveland Clinic. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, received a B.A. and B.A.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Neil Bizily is a senior portfolio manager at Thrivent Asset Management in the high yield and leveraged loan group. His past work experience includes positions in private equity with Madison Dearborn Partners in Chicago and in investment banking with Deutsche Bank in New York. He previously served on the board of advisors for Arete Academy, an independent school supporting students who learn differently. He holds a B.A. in economics from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Katie Goldstein '04, Parent Association Liaison, has worked with low income and special-needs children as a social worker. At Blake, she serves on both the Alumni Board and Parent Association Executive Committee. Katie received an M.A. in social work from the University of St. Thomas and a B.A. from Macalester College.
William (Bill) Miller is a partner and leads the Upper Midwest Assurance practice at Ernst & Young (EY), where he has worked since 1989. He has led EY's Upper Midwest Strategic Growth Markets practice and the firm's Entrepreneur of the Year program. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Orchestra and previously served on the board of directors for the Washburn Center for Children. He served for eight years, including five as treasurer and one as president, on the board of directors for the Minikahda Club. Bill earned a B.A. in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of St. Thomas.
Kevin Myren is CFO at the American Academy of Neurology. Prior to that, he was CFO and vice president of CommonBond, the largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing in the upper midwest. He has served as CFO at Augsburg College and CFO at Madison Area Technical College and for various firms as a certified public accountant. Kevin earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
David Oxford, Secretary, is a partner at Game-Mill Publishing. He has held various leadership positions in the video gaming industry, most recently serving as executive vice president and as general manager of publishing for Activision Blizzard. He is an advisor to several technology companies and serves on the boards of for-profit and non-profit entities. He earned a B.A. in economics from the University of North Dakota.
Lisa Saul Paylor is a perinatologist with the Minnesota Perinatal Physicians (part of Allina Health) and president of the Mother Baby clinical service line of Allina. She serves on the advisory board for Square Roots and the board of directors for the Guthrie Theater. Lisa has a B.A. from University of California-Berkeley, an M.D. from the University of California-San Diego, and an M.B.A. in Healthcare from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
Art Rodriguez is vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at Carleton College. Prior to joining Carleton, he was dean of admissions and student financial services at Vassar College. He serves on the board of directors of the Common App. He received a B.A. from Carleton College and an M.A. from Harvard University.
Meredith Ross is an interior designer specializing in residential commissions with a focus on 20th century decorative arts and design. Prior to moving to Minneapolis, she was an executive producer for VH1, credited with creating many of the network's defining TV series, such as I Love The 80s and Where Are They Now?. As a documentary television producer, Meredith was nominated for a NY Emmy for a teen-oriented, weekly PBS series. She was actively involved with teen outreach in schools across the country and co-chaired the Go Project, an education based nonprofit in New York City. Meredith earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing from Northwestern University.
Nedda Noori Salehi '02, Alumni Board Liaison, is associate general counsel at ServiceTitan. Prior to that, she was counsel at Lowenstein Sander and practiced with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati and Olson Zaltman Associates. She serves on Blake’s Alumni Board. Nedda received a B.S. from George Washington University and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.
Molly Simmons is a partner with McFarland Partners, where she is focuses on business advisory and private capital investments for large families and founder-owned businesses. Her past career work includes private equity fund partner roles at Tonka Bay Equity and Gemini Investors, focused on growth capital and buyouts, as well as investment management at a large single family office, Pohlad Companies. She has served on the boards of over 20 public and private companies across diverse industries, along with the boards of industry associations such as Association for Corporate Growth and Small Business Investors Alliance. Molly also serves on the board of Microgrants. She earned a B.S. in education and social policy from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Christopher (Chris) Smith, Chair-Elect, is president and CEO of Kipsu, a technology company he co-founded in 2010. He has worked as a venture capitalist with Coral Ventures, an associate with IBM's venture capital group and a consulting manager with Accenture. He co-chaired and co-founded Minnesota Comeback, a nonprofit addressing the educational achievement gap in Minneapolis. He has served on the board of advisors of the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and on boards for a number of for-profit venture-backed technology companies in Silicon Valley. He received a B.S. from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, where he was an IBM Venture Fellow.
Anne Stavney, President, has served as Head of School at Blake since 2012. She came to Blake from the Lakeside School (her alma mater), where she served in several leadership roles, including assistant head of school. At Blake, she has led the school in a successful $80 million comprehensive campaign; overseen six capital projects including a new science wing, entry hall and dining commons; developed a global immersion program and a computer science program; and significantly revised the school’s curricula in world languages, literacy, mathematics and humanities. She serves on the board for the Children’s Theatre Company of Minnesota and chairs its Education Committee. She is a trustee on the School Year Abroad board. And she is a member of the Accreditation Review Committee for the Independent Schools Association of Central States. Before joining Blake, Dr. Stavney served as Assistant Head of School and Middle School Director at her alma mater, Lakeside School in Seattle. She holds a B.A. in government from Smith College and a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington.
Kweli Thompson is vice president and general manager for Medtronic Cardiac Resynchronization Therapies. His previous roles at Medtronic include: vice president of clinical affairs for the cardiac and vascular group; head of the global marketing organization for endovascular therapies; vice president and director of global clinical research for coronary and peripheral business; and business development associate for the neurological and diabetes operating segment. Kweli completed a Doctor of Medicine and Masters of Public Health in a combined degree program at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard College.
Mary Sue Vorbrich is founder and owner of solVo, LLC, a provider of mediation and arbitration services for commercial disputes. She previously was a shareholder and trial lawyer at Fabyanske, Westra and Hart P.A. in Minneapolis. She lived in Japan for five years where she studied Japanese, architecture, culture, religions and taught English. She serves on the board of trustees for the Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota chapter of the Nature Conservancy and is on the Vestry (board of directors) at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Edina. She has a B.A. from Albion College in philosophy and political science and is a graduate of the Ford Institute of Public Policy. She earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Adebisi "Bisi" Wilson '97 is a partner at Ward & Wilson, P.C., a firm that focuses on neutral investigations, family law and litigation. Prior to Ward & Wilson, she was vice president of Innocent Technologies, an organization that enhances student-teacher relationships to close the achievement gap and worked as a litigator at Blackwell Burke P.A., where she practiced product liability, toxic tort, commercial and other litigation. She is experienced in education, affirmative action compliance and has developed training, spoken at conferences and authored articles on diversity in the workplace. She is president and co-founder of the Minnesota Mother Attorneys Association. Bisi holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from New York Law School.