Nexus Board of Directors:
Providing Leadership for the Future

Dr. Michelle K. Murray, CEO and President

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.


Paul Zimmer, 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.

Victor R. Patterson, Vice Chairperson

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.

Natalie McGrady, 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.

Linda Barnhart

Retired, HealthEast
Year Elected to Board: 2019
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.

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.).

Kevin Wayne Johnson

The Johnson Leadership Group
Year Elected to Board: 2019
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

Retired, Northen State Power Company–Minnesota
Year Elected to Board: 2019
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

Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota
Year Elected to Board: 2019
James Leste is the Vice President of Support Operations and Interim Senior Director of Surgical Services for Children’s Hospital and Clinics of 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

Independent Human Resources Consultant
Year Elected to Board: 2019
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.

Jeri Quest, Brand and Marketing Strategist

Independent Communications Consultant and former Attorney
Year Elected to Board: April 2018
Jeri Quest has more than 20 years of marketing, research, and brand positioning experience, working with a wide range of small- to mid-sized businesses. Her background makes her uniquely qualified to help position companies for optimum growth through effective marketing. In addition to her experience in marketing and strategic planning, she is a well-regarded executive coach, with a passion for organizational effectiveness and interpersonal dynamics in the workplace.

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.

David is looking for a permanent home

David is looking for a permanent home

Join us for the 26th Annual Onarga 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament!

Join us for the 26th Annual Onarga 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament!


Nexus Names New Leadership to Drive Innovation in Mental Health Services

Nexus Names New Leadership to Drive Innovation in Mental Health Services

Family Adolescents and Children Therapy Services (FACTS) affiliates with Nexus, expanding and strengthening programs serving Minnesota children and families.

Family Adolescents and Children Therapy Services (FACTS) affiliates with Nexus

Nexus Names New Board Chair, Welcomes 5 New Board Members

Nexus Names New Board Chair, Welcomes 5 New Board Members

Wayzata Middle School Shows Support for Kindred Family Focus

Wayzata Middle School Shows Support for Kindred Family Focus

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.)