Nexus, a national nonprofit based in Plymouth, MN, has welcomed several new board members to help continue the organization’s 45-year history of providing innovative programming and high-level mental health care to children and families. Through its sites, affiliates, and community partners, Nexus provides community-based mental health services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment programs to children and families, serving over 3,500 youth and families in 2018. Each program offers high-level, specialized services to heal complex trauma and restore well-being when a child’s needs are greater than a family, school, or community program can safely address.
When searching for board members, Nexus looks for individuals who believe in the importance of quality treatment programs and value mental health care. Our board members are also driven by a passion for helping children and families find hope. Without Nexus, many children and their families would not have the opportunity to heal and build the skills necessary to break the cycle of pain. Nexus helps families find stability and learn to manage the most difficult situations so that childhood symptoms do not carry into adulthood.
The organization recently named Paul Zimmer of Courey, Kosanda, and Zimmer Law Firm as the Board Chair of the Nexus Board of Directors. He follows in the change-making footsteps of Natalie McGrady of Cargill as she finishes her term as Chair. Zimmer has served on the Nexus Board since 2016, offering his legal expertise on mergers and acquisitions that help broaden the organization’s mission.
The Nexus Board of Directors also elected five new members to its rank. The newly elected members are Linda Barnhart, Kevin Wayne Johnson, Cynthia Lesher, James Leste, and Mette McLoughlin.
Nexus CEO, Dr. Michelle Murray, said, “I am very excited to have such high-level professionals join the Board of Directors and I am confident they will continue to help guide Nexus in our efforts to provide more healing to more families throughout the country. Each new member brings a wealth of knowledge and skills from their respective fields, and will surely be instrumental in diversifying our organization’s governance.”
Linda Barnhart is recently retired from her role as Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer Care Continuum for HealthEast - St. Paul, Minnesota. She brings 40 years of experience in the health care system. She is Kaizen (Lean) Leader certified through Shingijutsu Global Consulting USA Inc., using that training to continuously seek improvement in patient care and safety and to advance quality outcomes.
Kevin Wayne Johnson is an independent life coach, author, teacher, and speaker with the nationally recognized John Maxwell Team. Johnson hails from Maryland where he is an ordained Church of God minister and the Senior Pastor of Accokeek First Church of God. Johnson also has a 30-year career in government and private industry. He has managed workforce development, training, organizational change, acquisition/procurement, customer service, client relationships, and programming. In 2019, Johnson was appointed to a 4-year term as the Maryland Governor’s Faith and Community Commissioner for Suicide Prevention.
Cynthia Lesher is the retired President and CEO of Northern States Power Company–Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. During her career with Xcel Energy, she served in many roles including the company’s Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Human Resources Officer, as well as President and Vice President of Human Resources for NSP Gas. Lesher’s accomplishments as an esteemed woman in business are extensive and pay homage to her innovative leadership.
James Leste is the Vice President of Support Operations and Interim Senior Director of Surgical Services for Children’s Minnesota. His 19 years of experience bring expertise in areas like supporting patient safety and family-centered care; strategic planning, operational leadership, and execution; change management; proactive partnering with patients, families, physicians, staff, customers, and contractors to ensure that every family is an essential partner in raising healthier children.
Mette McLoughlin is a trusted human resources executive, most recently serving as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for the American Public Media Group. Currently, she is leading businesses through their HR challenges as a consultant and coach, working strategically across all areas of HR with a focus on culture and inclusion. McLoughlin brings over 20 years of experience in the HR arena with specific skills in building cultural competency, employee engagement, compensation and benefits, and talent and leadership development.
Nexus’ 2019 Board of Directors:
- Paul Zimmer (Board Chair), Courey, Kosanda & Zimmer, P.A.
- Victor Patterson (Vice Chair), Home Depot/VRP Consulting
- Cynthia Lesher, Retired Northern States Power Company–Minnesota
- Greg Sanders, North Dakota State University
- Jeri Quest, Quest Brand Consulting
- Jim Leste, Children’s Minnesota
- John Haydon, Kraus-Anderson
- Kevin Wayne Johnson, The Johnson Leadership Group
- Linda Barhnart, Retired HealthEast
- Lisa Bjergaard, North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services
- Mette McLoughlin, Independent Human Resources Consultant
- Natalie McGrady, Cargill