MINNEAPOLIS — The American Swedish Institute (ASI) recently announced the election of five new members to its Board of Trustees: Carline Bengtsson, Brenda Butler, Marco Molinari, Andrea Oseland and David Sorensen. The following Board Officers were also approved: Brad Engdahl was named Board Chair, Dr. Maggi Adamek as Vice Chair, Laurie Jacobi as Secretary and Elizabeth Olson as Treasurer. ASI Trustees serve three-year terms and contribute significant knowledge and expertise as part of the leadership team. The elections took place during ASI’s Annual Meeting on June 17, 2020.
ASI is a Minneapolis museum and cultural center encompassing the historic Turnblad Mansion and the contemporary Nelson Cultural Center as well as the ASI Museum Store and the critically acclaimed FIKA Café. Founded by Swedish immigrant and newspaper publisher Swan J. Turnblad in 1929, ASI has grown to engage more than 200,000 people annually through innovative art exhibitions, public events, community and school programs including Story Swap with Wellstone International High School, language classes and Nordic craft and food-related workshops. The Wall Street Journal called ASI “[a] model of how a small institution can draw visitors through exciting programming.” ASI is currently closed to the public because of COVID-19, with a reopening date yet to be determined.
New Members of the ASI Board of Trustees:
These five candidates, nominated by ASI’s Governance and Nominations Committee, were confirmed as Trustees to begin three-year terms:
- Carline Bengtsson, Lindström, MN; a former Medtronic manager and founder of the nonprofit Dine4Dinners.
- Brenda Butler, Minneapolis; an art educator and director of the Butler Family Community Foundation.
- Marco Molinari, Lake City, MN; a retired global business leader with HNI and Goodyear.
- Andrea Oseland, Minneapolis; jewelry designer and apparel and accessories buyer at Target
- David Sorensen, Circle Pines, MN; a retired General Mills executive.
Other Nominees and Acknowledgments:
Two Trustees who had completed their first three-year terms of office were nominated to serve second three-year terms: Michael Bjornberg and Linda Wallenberg. ASI thanks three Trustees who are completing six years of service: Dr. David Carlson, Barbara Linell Glaser, Ed.D. and Russ Michaletz.
AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Members of the Board (2020-21)
Officers:, Brad Engdahl (Chair), Dr. Maggi Adamek (Vice Chair), Elizabeth Olson (Treasurer), Laurie Jacobi (Secretary); Trustees: Dr. Philip Anderson, Aimee Richcreek Baxter, Carline Bengtsson, Karl Benson, Michael Bjornberg, Brenda Butler, Barbara Linell Glaser, Ed.D., Mary Dee Hicks, Diane Hofstede, Laurie L. Holmquist, Herbert ‘Ted’ Johnson, Dr. John Litell, Marco Molinari, Mohamud Mumin, Andrea Oseland, Dave Sorensen, Linda Wallenberg, William ‘Bill’ Weiler, Andreas Örnberg
New Board Members – Longer Bios
Carline Bengtsson is retired from corporate life following careers within the insurance, military avionics and medical technology industries at Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Honeywell and most recently Medtronic, where she was a people/program manager. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and Art from Concordia University, St. Paul; a Mini MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a Marketing Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Executive Education Program. Bengtsson immigrated to Minnesota from Jamaica as a child and grew up to marry a native Swede, which sealed her affinity for the culture, language, country and the American Swedish Institute community at large. In addition to all things Swedish, Bengtsson is a published cookbook author and an engaged community leader serving on several boards, and she was recently appointed to the President’s Advisory Council at Concordia University, St. Paul. She is described by her family and friends as a chef of enticing, inventive and delicious eats and recently formed the organization Dine4Dinners to further pursue her two passions of helping others and creating memorable meals. The Dine4Dinners mission is a shared vision with organizations that provide meals for those in need of daily nourishment through dependable, reliable and sustainable sources.
Brenda Butler is a passionate advocate for arts education. Butler is a visual arts educator with teaching experience from pre-K to 12. Currently, she is the director at the Butler Family Community Foundation. Brenda holds degrees in Textile Design and Art History and a M.Ed. in Art Education. She has recently completed a MPS degree in Arts and Cultural Leadership at the University of Minnesota, with a minor in Museum Studies. Her Capstone project is a case study of the community engagement programs at the American Swedish Institute.
Marco Molinari is passionate about growing and deepening the relationship between Minnesota, the U.S. and his home country of Sweden, where his parents still reside. Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, he completed his Bachelor’s and MBA degrees in the U.S. before embarking on international careers with Goodyear and HNI Corporation in the U.S., Europe and Asia. As a corporate officer of these companies, he built businesses and developed deep relationships in many countries, among them Sweden. A member (ledamot) of Sällskapet in Stockholm, the club where King Carl XVI Gustaf is the Honorary First Member, his continuing strong connection to Sweden aligns well with American Swedish Institute’s vision to maintain vibrant ties to Sweden in order to illuminate and inspire all of ASI’s endeavors. Experiences on corporate and university advisory boards taught him the importance of servant leadership, always putting customers, members, staff and communities at the very center of the experiences that ASI seeks to develop and successfully execute. Having recently relocated to Lake City with his wife, Lisa, his consultancy firm Global Industrial Group works with senior leadership teams on new market entries, business assessments and optimization as well as enterprise transformations to help clients create leaner, more efficient businesses positioned to accelerate profitable growth.
Andrea Oseland is a Minnesota native of third-generation Norwegian-American, first generation Nigerian-American and Fond du Lac Ojibwe heritage. Currently a women’s apparel and accessories buyer for Target, Oseland has more than 20 years of experience in the retail and design industry. She has previously worked on community equity and diversity projects like the Google for Entrepreneurs Diverse Founders Residency and The Minnesota Food Charter. She has earned undergraduate degrees in Fine Jewelry Metalsmithing and Design and Marketing. Oseland and her partner, Travis, are homeowners in the Central neighborhood of Minneapolis, less than a mile from ASI.
Dave Sorensen was born and raised in a small town in Northwestern Minnesota. Sorensen graduated from Bemidji State University where, in addition to educational pursuits, he grew through job-related experiences and as a student leader during a time when the U.S. underwent historic social changes. Over a 37-year career at General Mills, Sorensen began as a commodity trader and proceeded to hold a variety of different positions of increasing responsibilities, domestically and internationally, with the last 12 years as vice president of worldwide sourcing. Sorensen has been active on several company and nonprofit boards, as well as engaged in significant, comprehensive fundraising campaigns. Through these experiences, Sorensen has created a belief that we can make substantial changes by working differently, valuing culture and leveraging diverse perspectives to collaboratively influence inevitable change. Sorensen and his wife, Kathryn, are life members of the American Swedish Institute, honor their Swedish background through their travels to Scandinavia in pursuit of their heritage, and finally, are passionate about the role and mission of ASI. Sorensen brings broad-based experiences as well as effective, results-oriented and energizing skills to the Board.
AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE is a museum and cultural center that is a gathering place for all people to share experiences around themes of culture, migration, the environment and the arts, informed by enduring ties to Sweden. ASI is located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. For more information, visit www.ASImn.org or call 612-871-4907.