The Minneapolis Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of six new members to its Board of Trustees. Peggy Flanagan, Devean George, Leni Moore, Sahra Noor, Ravi Norman, and John G. Taft attended their first Board meeting as Trustees this week.
“The Minneapolis Foundation looks for community leaders with diverse backgrounds and professional expertise to help guide our work,” said R.T. Rybak, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation. “The six Trustees joining our Board this week bring a wealth of experience and a range of perspectives to their new roles, and I look forward to their contributions as the Foundation launches its second century.”
The Board of Trustees is comprised of more than two dozen citizens of the greater Minneapolis area who are leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. All six of the new Trustees have been appointed to four-year terms.
The new Trustees are as follows:
Peggy Flanagan, a citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe, is a longtime advocate for Minnesota’s children and families. A noted community and political organizer, she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November of 2015. Prior to joining the legislature, she served as the executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, an organization dedicated to leveling the playing field for all children in the region. She also worked for eight years at Wellstone Action, first as director and founder of the Native American Leadership Program, then as director of external affairs. As one of the original trainers of Wellstone Action’s signature program Camp Wellstone, she has trained tens of thousands of progressive activists, community and campaign organizers, future candidates, and progressive officeholders to make effective, sustainable, progressive change around the country. Flanagan lives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with her husband, Tim, and daughter, Siobhan Ma’iingan.
Devean George was born in Minneapolis, attended high school at Benilde-St. Margaret’s and went on to become a standout basketball player at Augsburg College. During his college career, he was named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player for two consecutive years (1997-98 and 1998-99). In 1999, he made history when he became the first-ever NCAA Division III basketball player selected in the first round of the NBA draft. Now retired from the NBA, George remains committed to positively impacting the North Minneapolis community that shaped who he is today. His desire to give back was the driving force behind the formation of George Group North, his real-estate company specializing in multifamily residential development, mixed-use projects, and property redevelopment and management, and its charitable subsidiary, Building Blocks, which is focused on mentorship programming, affordable housing, and sustainable community development. George serves as President and CEO of George Group North, and Executive Director of Building Blocks.
Leni Moore has an extensive background in corporate finance and investment banking, having worked in corporate and real estate finance in New York at firms including Salomon Brothers, The First Boston Corporation, and Cushman & Wakefield. Since the mid 90’s Moore has focused her time on volunteering in community—both in New York and Minneapolis. She has held a number of Board positions in organizations including the United Nations Dept. of Public Information Non-Governmental Organizations Executive Committee, Women’s Refugee Commission, New York Foundation for the Arts (Chair), Minnesota Zoo Foundation, Graywolf Press, Minnesota Opera, and currently serves as Government Relations Chair of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and past Board Chair of Global Minnesota. Moore has a B.A. from the Ohio State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She has two grown children and two stepchildren.
Sahra Noor is the Chief Executive Officer of People’s Center Health Services, a nationally recognized community health center based in Minneapolis. Noor is a healthcare executive with more than 15 years of experience leading change and influencing how healthcare is delivered to underserved communities. Noor’s collaborative research projects on minority health and health equity have been published in international peer-reviewed journals. Her innovative and culturally inclusive initiatives have received numerous awards and accolades for improving health outcomes and reducing cost of care. Prior to joining People’s Center Health Services, Noor held leadership roles at Fairview Health Services as the Director of Community Health and Language Services and at UnitedHealth Group as the Director of Clinical Operations. Noor holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Catherine’s University and a master’s degree in nursing and health systems administration from the University of Minnesota. She completed a policy fellowship at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and is a member of Young American Leaders Program (YALP) at Harvard Business School. In 2015, Noor was recognized as one of 40 business leaders under the age of 40 by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. She was also appointed by Governor Dayton and elected to serve as co-chair of the Minnesota Task Force on Healthcare Financing.
Ravi Norman serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Thor Construction, Inc. and served as its Chief Financial Officer. Norman possesses over 16 years of expertise in the areas of strategic management, organizational development and commercial finance. His dynamic leadership style consists of an optimal mix of macro business strategy, management & organizational theory, operational execution, transparent intents, proactive communication and measurable outcomes. He collaborated with several Fortune 500 corporations and nonprofits to develop innovative solutions to maximize diversity and inclusion within the supply chain. His corporate experience includes Norwest Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., and Highland Banks. His formal education includes degrees in Economics, Business Management, Finance and Strategy.
John G. Taft is the recently retired CEO of RBC Wealth Management–U.S., one of the largest full-service investment, advisory, and wealth management firms in the United States. Taft is a former chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), a former member of the CFA Institute’s Future of Finance Advisory Council, and has served a wide range of not-for-profit and public service organizations. Prior to his finance career, Taft was assistant to the mayor of the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, and a journalist. He is a direct descendant of U.S. President William Howard Taft and Senator Robert A. Taft.