The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) was established by the legislature in 2012 and charged with the design, construction and operation of the new multi-purpose stadium. The MSFA consists of five members. Three Authority members, including the chair, are appointed by the governor. Two Authority members are appointed by the City of Minneapolis. The Authority is chaired by Michele Kelm-Helgen. The other members are John D. Griffith, Duane Benson, Bill McCarthy and Barbara Butts Williams. Governor Mark Dayton appointed Kelm-Helgen, Griffith and Benson, and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak appointed McCarthy and Butts Williams.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair
Michele Kelm-Helgen was appointed Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority in June of 2012. She leads the Authority in its role of planning and designing the new stadium.
Prior to this, Michele served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs, in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton, from 2010 to 2012. She was Chief of Staff for the Minnesota State Senate from 2006-2010. Michele also worked as Director of Control Data Corporation’s (now Ceridian) City Venture division and later became a partner with North State Advisers, a governmental affairs/public relations consulting firm.
For over 10 years, she served as Chair of the Eastern Carver County School Board, and of the school district’s personnel and legislative action Committees. Michele was an active member for the Chaska Rotary Club and currently is a member of Club 9 Rotary in Minneapolis. She also is a member of Dunkers and serves on the board of Meet Minneapolis.
Michele received her B.A. from the College of St. Catherine, and her M.B.A. with honors from the University of St. Thomas.
Duane Benson is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
Duane Benson was the Executive Director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation from 2005 through 2011. He also was the Executive Director of the Minnesota Business Partnership from 1994 to 2003. Benson served in the Minnesota Senate from 1980 to 1994, and was the Senate Minority Leader for a period during that time. He graduated with honors from Hamline University. Benson was drafted into the NFL and played eleven seasons as a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Houston Oilers. He continues to own and operate a cattle farm outside of Lanesboro and is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations. Benson is also a member of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Board of Trustees. Benson is a 2009 laureate of the Junior Achievement Upper Midwest Business Hall of Fame.
Barbara Butts Williams, PhD
Barbara Butts Williams is the vice chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
PhD, Human and Organizational Systems, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California
MA, Organizational Development, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California
MALS, Leadership and Business, Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota
BA, History and Political Science, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland
Dr. Barbara Butts Williams is the Dean of Business, School of Business and Technology at Capella University, Minneapolis Minnesota. Since joining Capella in 2002, she has served as Dean of the School of Education, Interim Dean, School of Business and Technology, Associate Dean for the school, Director of Graduate Programs (masters and doctorates degrees) and Director, MBA Program for School of Business and Technology. Dr. Butts Williams’ professional experience spans the public, private and academic sectors to include the following positions; President of Growth Partners Consulting, a firm she founded to provide strategic planning, talent and change management, and organizational development to small and medium sized organizations; Director, Training and Development, Pennsylvania Department of Health; Director, Executive Programs at the University of Michigan’s Graduate School of Business Administration ; Director, Executive Education and Human Resources Planning, Control Data Corporation; Principle Consultant and Director Marketing for Human Resource Products and Services, Control Data Business Advisors, Inc.; Vice President Marketing, Vice President Sales and Key Accounts, Project Director for Curriculum and Product Development, Wilson Learning Corporation; Senior Consultant, Organizational Effectiveness, Rath & Strong, Inc.; Officer, Education and Skilling, and Officer(VP), Education and Global Leadership Development, The St. Paul Companies (now Travelers).
Dr. Butts Williams’ prior community and professional service included; Harvard University’s Media & Publishing Group, a charter and corporate advisory board member; University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management , Executive Education Advisory Council member; The University of Michigan’s School of Business and Administration’s Human Resource Program Corporate Advisory Council member; Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota, former foundation board chair and trustee emeritus; Dr. Butts Williams also served on the Hennepin County Library Foundation and Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation Boards. Dr. Butts Williams also served as the Minneapolis representative (North and Downtown Minneapolis) on The Metropolitan Council during the Carlson Administration.
Currently, Dr. Butts Williams serves on the Board of Trustees at The Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California and The Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON), Minneapolis, Minnesota. .
John D. Griffith
John Griffith is a real estate and construction consultant. John formerly ran the real estate, construction, architecture, facilities maintenance, store planning, operations, and Target Commercial Interiors, functions as Executive Vice President at Target Corporation from 1999 to 2014. During his tenure at Target, the size of the chain doubled to more than 1900 stores. In 2014 John was responsible for over 300 million square feet, in more than 2000 buildings all over the world.
John serves on the board and executive committee of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. Additionally he serves on the board of the regions premier economic development organization, Greater MSP. John also served on the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota. John is a past Trustee of the International Council of Shopping Centers in New York City, New York.
John received his B.A. in Business Administration from Bethel College and his M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Since 2002, Mr. McCarthy has served as the elected President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. The MRLF represents 75,000 workers from more than 125 affiliated unions, including construction workers, teachers, nurses, service workers and others.
Mr. McCarthy grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and attended Jefferson High School. After high school, he enlisted in the Army and served in Vietnam. Following military service, he attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Studies.
Mr. McCarthy became actively involved with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union while working as a part-time bartender. From 1987 to 2002, he worked initially as a Business Agent and later as the elected President for HERE Local 17.
Since 2002, Mr. McCarthy has served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Twin Cities United Way. Additionally, He is Chairman of the Board for Working Partnerships, Inc., a 501(c)(3) he founded in 2006 to serve union members in need and their families. In March 2012, Mr. McCarthy was named as the winner of a national United Way award for labor leadership, the Joseph A. Beirne Community Services Award.
Mr. McCarthy, 59, lives in Blaine with his wife Marie and has two grown daughters and five grandchildren.
Ted Mondale, CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Mondale is the CEO/Executive Director of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Previously, Mr. Mondale was appointed by Governor Dayton to be the Chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission which sunset on August 1, 2012. Ted was also formerly the Vice President of Strategy & Research for GREATER MSP.
In 1999, Mr. Mondale was appointed by Governor Ventura as Chair of the Metropolitan Council, a 4,000 employee, $500 million regional operating agency in the Twin Cities. Under his leadership, the Council undertook several key initiatives, including the Hiawatha light rail line, which was awarded the best new start award from the Federal Transit Administration. Mr. Mondale also served two terms in the Minnesota State Senate. Two of the laws he chief-authored have won national "best of" awards from the Ford Foundation and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and the Environmental Protection Agency.