Nexus Board of Directors:
Providing Leadership for the Future

Michelle Murray, Interim CEO

Dr. Michelle K. Murray joined Nexus in 2010 as the Director of Clinical Services, and was promoted to Vice President of Clinical Services in 2015. In this capacity, Murray is responsible for establishing consistency in clinical services, as well as providing support, consultation, and setting the clinical direction for all services and programming across the Nexus continuum. Murray is also responsible for the onboarding and development of new clinical services, providing leadership to Nexus’ Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) endeavors, and ensuring ongoing training and development of clinical staff.

In her previous position as Nexus Director of Clinical Services, Murray assisted with the oversight of Nexus programming across the continuum and provided professional expertise to the successful implementation of the Nexus’ Family Partnership Initiative and trauma-informed practices. Dr. Murray was also in charge of coordinating Nexus’ COA accreditation process and providing oversight to CQI before a Director of CQI and Research was established at the organization.

Dr. Murray has 19 years of experience in the field. Before joining Nexus, she worked for Adelphoi Village/Northern Tier Children’s Home as the Director of a 62-bed residential treatment facility that served both male and female youth with co-occurring mental health issues and sexually harmful behaviors. Other programs under her leadership included foster care, shelter/diagnostic assessment services, group homes, independent living services, and community-based psycho-sexual assessments. She also held positions as Clinical Director, Director of Residential Services, and Family Therapist with Adelphoi.

Dr. Murray is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and an Approved Clinical Supervisor through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University.


Natalie McGrady, Chairperson, Chair of Development Committee

Director of North American COE and Supplier Diversity, Cargill, Inc.
Elected to the Board: November 2013
Natalie McGrady is currently the Director of Strategic Sourcing for Cargill, Inc., and is responsible for $400 million in five spending categories: Corporate Materials & Services, Plant Materials & Services, Chemicals, and Ingredients & Packaging. In her role as the North America Team Leader for these duties, Ms. McGrady identifies ways for Cargill Salt, De-Icing, and Animal Nutrition business to continuously save move and drive down costs for the organization. Ms. McGrady has spent the last 25 years working in strategic sourcing or procurement services, finding repeatable, sustainable savings for companies such as Winn-Dixie, Pentair, Deluxe Corporation, Corning, and Honeywell. She brings a wealth of cost-savings knowledge to Nexus operations.

Paul Zimmer, Vice Chairperson

Partner, CKZ Law Firm
Year Elected to Board: June 2016
Paul Zimmer is an attorney and shareholder in the Minneapolis law firm Courey, Kosanda & Zimmer, P.A. His law practice represents higher-net worth individuals in connection with estate and wealth-transfer planning matters, as well as closely-held and family-owned businesses in business law matters that include, but are not limited to, mergers and acquisitions and business and ownership succession planning. Mr. Zimmer was admitted to the Minnesota Bar and the U.S. District Court of Minnesota in 1991, the U.S. District Court of Wisconsin in 1992, and the Wisconsin Bar in 1996. He provides Nexus with legal expertise on mergers and acquisitions.

Hilke S. Riechardt-Martinez —Treasurer

Chief Financial Officer, Nexus
Elected to the Board: June 2017
Ms. Riechardt-Martinez joined Nexus as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer in January 2017. In this role, she is responsible for developing, implementing, and auditing compliance with all financial policies and procedures, assuring Nexus' compliance with all contract, state, and federal standards and regulations, and developing, implementing, and managing final review of site and consolidated operating and capital budgets.

Laureen Carlson —Secretary, Chair of Finance Committee

President and Founder of Portage Marketing
Year Elected to Board: October 2007
Laureen Carlson is President and Founder of Portage Marketing, a marketing and media placement agency in Minneapolis, MN. Ms. Carlson brings Nexus a wealth of experience in marketing and media planning, as well as nonprofit professional and volunteer experience. Her background helps Nexus develop its strategic marketing, tactical marketing execution, media planning and placement, and website development activities.

Lisa Bjergaard

Director of North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services
Elected to Board: April 2017
Lisa has served continuously on the PATH ND Board since its founding in 1994, and has served periodically on the Strategic Planning Committee, Finance Committee, and Executive Committee. She also serves as the Director of the North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services, a position she has held since September, 2006. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing operations of the State’s juvenile corrections agency. Her background includes serving as a regional administrator and a case manager within the Division of Juvenile Services, as well as working in the private sector with delinquent youth in residential care, shelter care, and in a non-profit setting with survivors of domestic violence. Lisa currently serves on various youth-related boards and committees at the local, state, and national level, and has been involved in the development of a variety of public/private partnerships that provide mental health, substance abuse, educational and behavioral health services to youth and children. She has assisted in content and curriculum development and training delivery for a variety of training programs within North Dakota and for the National Institute of Corrections. Her educational background includes a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Public Safety (M.S.) and a Bachelor’s degree in Religion (B.A.).

Tom Emig

Director of Human Resources, Life Fitness
Year Elected to Board: January 2016
Tom Emig is currently Director of Human Resources for Life Fitness, a division of Brunswik Corporation, where he leads the Human Resources function for Life Fitness manufacturing’s 5 global locations. Prior to joining Life Fitness, Mr. Emig was Area Human Resources Director for Parker Hannifin Corporation’s Fluid Connector Group manufacturing and distribution facilities. Mr. Emig offers Nexus extensive experience in developing, aligning, and implementing Human Resource strategies and systems to achieve business objectives.

Peter Freeman, Ed.D., LICSW, Chair of Program Committee

Private practice at Full Circle Dynamics, LLC
Year Elected to Board: February 2005
Peter D. Freeman, Ed.D., LICSW, is a former faculty member and Director of Alternative Learning Initiatives for the College of St. Catherine and the University of St. Thomas School of Social Work. Dr. Freeman is now in private practice with Full Circle Dynamics, where he provides counseling and professional development coaching for individuals and organization development consulting and training to organizations, leaders and their teams.

Victor R. Patterson

Regional Human Resources Manager, The Home Depot
Year Elected to Board: October 2016
Victor Patterson currently serves as the Regional Human Resources Manager at The Home Depot in Illinois, and operates VRP Group Consulting, LLC., in Minneapolis. As a Board member, Patterson shares his experience in talent acquisition and development with Nexus’ growing organization. He is also deeply committed to giving back to the community, and is inspired by Nexus’ mission of Strengthening Lives, Families, and Communities.

Reed Robinson

Managing Partner and Architect, WJR, Inc.
Year Elected to Board: August 2009
Reed Robinson, NCARB, CID is Principal/Architect, Managing Partner with Winther Johnson Robinson Architects, specializing in Architecture and Interior Architectural Design. He has broad experience in space utilization planning, building new or renovating buildings and human & animal dental and medical clinics. He assists Nexus in optimizing its campus space utilization.

Gregory Sanders

Professor and Associate Dean, College of Human Development and Education at North Dakota State University
Elected to Board: April 2017
Gregory is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and Associate Dean for the College of Human Development and Education at North Dakota State University. Greg teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, with a focus on family science and gerontology. He conducts research in the areas of family relationships and later-life families. In his role as Associate Dean, he provides leadership in building capacities in technology and research. He has published and presented nationally on building technology and distance education capacities and in issues related to aging and families in later life. Greg serves on the Helpers Board (Barnesville), PATH ND Inc., and the Services Committee for the Alzheimer’s Association (Minnesota/North Dakota). He also serves on the Great Plains IDEA Human Sciences Board.

Laurie Zenner, Chair of Human Resources Committee

Independent Communications Consultant and former Attorney
Year Elected to Board: March 2001
Laurie Zenner is a communications consultant who specializes in helping communications teams set sound strategies and maximize their influence within their clients. She is a former executive of several Fortune 500 companies, where she served as Global Head of Communications and Chief Marketing Officer. Ms. Zenner provides Nexus assistance in the creation of business plans, analysis, product development, and policy and procedural development.

Summer, Raymond and Shawn are looking for a permanent home

Summer, Raymond and Shawn are looking for a permanent home

Crisis Nursery 20th Annual Spring Fundraiser

Crisis Nursery 20th Annual Spring Fundraiser

Join us for the 24th Annual Onarga Academy Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament!

24th Annual Onarga Academy Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament!

Indian Oaks Academy Names New Clinical Director

Indian Oaks Academy Names New Clinical Director

Coats of Many Colors

Gerard Academy’s Coats of Many Colors

Onarga Academy names Leya Barrett as Clinical Director

Onarga Academy names Leya Barrett as Clinical Director

Gerard Academy Names Employee Ambassador of the Year

Gerard Academy Names Employee Ambassador of the Year

Program Changes

Onarga Program Changes

Nexus Names Dr. Michelle K. Murray Chief Clinical Officer

Nexus Names Dr. Michelle K. Murray Chief Clinical Officer


One of these boys is in foster care. You can’t tell who because.. Nexus CARES

The Library
The Library
A list of resources for parents
Parenting Partner
Parenting Partner
Helpful articles for parents
Family Matters
Family Matters
(Q&A with Dr. Michelle Murray, Ph.D.)