Experience and Passion for Golden Valley
The Board of Directors is comprised of a four-person executive committee and a group of at-large members. We have many teams and volunteer options.
Board Chair - Dean@GVCFoundation.org
Dean Penk is a founding member of the GVCF, serving as Board Chair since its inception in 2011. He has lived in Golden Valley since 1986 with his wife Julie.
Dean became involved in the community shortly after moving to Golden Valley. A golfer, he first joined the Brookview Golf Course Improvement Committee by appointment from the city council in early 90s. In 2005, Dean became involved with the city’s citizen-led Envision Connection Project as a board member. As part of that experience, he realized that a reliable funding source for community building was necessary in order to provide seed money to enhance efforts to build on the already active community-building culture. GVCF was created to develop those funding mechanisms.
Mr. Penk’s career involves sales and customer services management with experiences spanning industrial coatings, health insurance, healthcare services and office automation and design culminating in 30 years of packaging industry services management. His business experiences include product development, sales, project management, customer retention, custom services design and delivery, lean practice and culture change implementation, employee recruitment and services business development. Beginning in high school in Springfield, MN and continuing while attending University of Minnesota, Morris, Dean has been involved in creating, managing and growing organizations.
Dean and his wife Julie have enjoyed living in the North Tyrol neighborhood since 1986 with multiple 4-legged kids over the years. Dean is an avid golfer, landscaper and developer of ideas and of things. He and Julie currently enjoy traveling North America after having had the opportunity to travel globally for years.
“My objective is that I do what I am able to assure that we as citizen neighbors work actively to make Golden Valley the destination of choice and a center of positive activity by and for individuals, families, neighborhoods, businesses and organizations. This active work creates an atmosphere that incubates positive actions that enhance lives through meaningful experiences, helping people participate, observe, learn and in turn, lead and teach.”
Linda joined the Golden Valley Community Foundation Board in 2012. She is currently the principal of Naiad Consulting, LLC, which she established in 2013. Her practice includes support and guidance regarding local watershed management and consultation about public policy with a focus on water management. Her current client list includes the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District.
Prior to starting her consulting business, Linda was the Mayor of the city of Golden Valley from 2002 to 2012 and was responsible for spearheading Envision Golden Valley, a citywide visioning exercise to guide city comprehensive planning. The Golden Valley Community Foundation is a direct result of Envision Golden Valley and the subsequent Envision Connection Project.
She is a life-long resident of Golden Valley, growing up here and attending Golden Valley High School. She has a long history of community involvement having served on the city’s Open Space and Recreation Commission and on the Board of Directors of PRISM (People Responding in Social Ministry). She is actively involved in other local organizations and serves as Treasurer for both Market in the Valley and the Golden Valley Historical Society.
Derek Anders-Turner currently works as a Technology Solutions Product Manager within U.S. Bank – CPS Bankcard Technology, supporting third party vendor management and has over 15 years of experience as a project manager. In 2011, Derek was deployed with the Minnesota Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer. In 2012, he utilized his project management background and technical skills on a yearlong internship with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, (ATF) headquartered in St. Paul, MN.
As a U.S. Bank Ambassador and Emerging Leader for United Way Twin Cities, Derek currently supports multiple ccommunity organizations: North Carolina A&T University fundraising campaign, PROCEED INC providing HBCU college tours, the Tubman Center domestic abuse women’s shelter, TU Dance modern dance company, and No Barriers, a veteran service organization. He also serves as a Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Peer Mentor, National Black Police Association MN Chapter member, Fraternal Order of the Eagles member, and currently serving a three-year term on the Business Review Committee (BRC) for the City of St. Paul, MN until 2018.
Helene Johnson recently retired after 38 years as Executive Director of GTS Educational Events, a small nonprofit dedicated to providing educational conferences and workshops for those in public and nonprofit sectors. Besides administrative responsibilities, she worked with various groups to develop programs addressing current issues ranging from environmental sustainability and land use to e-health and leading organizational change. She and her organization have received awards and recognition from Minnesota governors, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development, Minnesota Association for Continuing Adult Education, and the Minnesota City County Management Association among others.
Prior to GTS, she held positions at the University of Minnesota, the St. Paul YWCA, the Minneapolis Radisson Hotel and the City of Robbinsdale. She has a BA from Carleton College (and has co-chaired every class reunion since graduation) and a Masters in Continuing and Adult Education from the University of Minnesota.
Helene has been volunteering extensively with the city of Golden Valley since 2004. She was lead co-facilitator for the Envisioning process and a founding member of the Envision Connection Project Board established to focus on ways to connect community members and enhance Golden Valley’s quality of life. One of the initiatives was creating and training a group of Bridge Builders who have organized a wide variety of activities - from lilac planting to Valley Volunteer Day.
As a founding board member of the Golden Valley Community Foundation, Helene has been very involved in the Small Sparks grant program. In addition, she facilitates Global Golden Valley, a group dedicated to “Celebrating and Connecting Cultures in our Community.” International Day at Market in the Valley and educational programs on “Who is Your Neighbor” which have been presented annually since 2012.
Board Member - JohnKluchka@GVCFoundation.org
John Kluchka joined GVCF in 2016 as an Executive Board member and secretary as a way of translating his business and community experience into new community building opportunities. He also leads the Marketing team and is always interested in meeting new recruits!
John has been involved in neighborhood engagement and volunteering for many years, including leadership work with Envision Golden Valley and Golden Valley’s Planning Commission. He has also participated in the Douglas Drive Corridor study and the Brookview Community Center Task Force. Along his path of civic participation, John has met many committed, thoughtful and compassionate individuals and families, both city-wide as neighbors, and city staff. John also volunteers with the Golden Valley Pride Festival as its co-chair, sponsorship coordinator and spokesperson.
Professionally, John brings 20 years of experience from the healthcare industry where he held multiple positions supporting communications, design, project management, sales, account management, R&D, product management, digital engagement and others. An architect at heart, John seeks out the structure of even the wildest ideas, and then brings design, strategy, best practices, detailed description and demonstration together as community goals become implemented initiatives. John holds degrees in Architecture and Journalism from the University of Minnesota.
John says “My passion, commitment, experience and loyalty to the Golden Valley community has grown from eager volunteer to active participant, contributor and facilitator of the future vision of our city. I am honored to continue to serve our community and bring my civic, educational and professional experiences, skills and unique perspectives to the team.”
Secretary - EllieLewis@GVCFoundation.org
Ellie Lewis is a seasoned communications professional, with more than 10 years of experience developing and delivering strategic communications to a variety of audiences. She has worked in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, both in the Twin Cities and in Washington, D.C. Ellie enjoys using communication to drive engagement and bring strategies to life.
Ellie currently balances work at Cargill with raising two daughters in Golden Valley. She moved to Golden Valley because of its location, but fell in love with it because of the people she has met. She enjoys spending time outside with her family at many of Golden Valley’s park, frequenting the farmers market in the summer or just enjoying the shade in her backyard, provided by the many wonderful old trees that help make Golden Valley an oasis just outside of downtown Minneapolis.
“Golden Valley has so much to offer – from a central location, to great schools and parks, to wonderful small businesses. I want to do all that I can to protect and build on what Golden Valley offers today to strengthen the community and ensure that it continues to serve as an oasis for generations to come.”
John Richardson is a Meadowbrook Dad with two daughters who are now at Hopkins High School and Mankato State University. He has been a resident of Golden Valley for more than twenty years.
He is a small business owner with a professional background in training and development. He is past president of the Golden Valley Lions Club and strongly believes in the power of community connections.
“Golden Valley is a community that works. I love my block, I love my neighbors, we have good schools, streets, and parks, and the water tastes good. There’s more to do … get creative and get involved.”
Want to get involved?
We are always eager to meet new neighbors and welcome them into the GVCF team. We have multiple opportunities available, so say hello and get to know your Golden Valley Community Foundation.