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Our Board

Union Park District Council (UPDC) is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of 21 community volunteers: 11 are elected to positions based on geography or business representation, and six are appointed from institutions and organizations. The community votes for elected members at our annual fall meeting to serve staggered two-year terms, so that approximately half of the seats become available each year. Mid-term appointments can also be made to open seats.

Anyone who is 18 or older and lives, owns property, or is the owner or designated representative of a business within the UPDC boundaries can serve on our board. It's a great way to give back to the community and to ensure that Union Park continues to be a vibrant, engaging, diverse place to live. Contact us if you’re interested in applying.

UPDC 2017 Grid Structure .jpg

BOARD MEETINGS

First Wednesday of the month at 7PM

Meetings of the Union Park board are open to the public. Community members are encouraged to attend! We usually start with a voice from our community, hear reports from our committees, discuss issues of interest to residents, and take actions important to the successful operation of our organization. 

BOARD MEMBERS

Grid 1

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Jeffrey Wigren has lived in Saint Paul for the past 20 years after returning to Minnesota following a two-year Peace Corps tour of duty in Bolivia. There, he began a public health career, working with Care International on child survivability and enteric disease prevention in subsistence agricultural communities. He is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts and School of Public Health.

Jeffrey lives with his 16-year-old son, Suren. He joined the Union Park District Council board in 2019, the same year he joined the Midway YMCA board of directors. He likes playing hockey at Groveland Park in the winter and enjoys open-water lake swimming in the summer. The strangest food he's eaten is guinea pig.

Grid 2

Mark Martinez

Board Treasurer

Mark Martinez serves as treasurer of the Union Park District Council board, which he joined in 2019. He has been a home owner in Grid 2 since 2015. Mark lives in the Merriam Park neighborhood with his wife, Christine, and their two dogs. He is executive director of the South Washington County Telecommunications Commission (SWCTC). Originally from southern California, Mark has also lived in New York City. He’s an avid music and sports fan, loves the great outdoors, and enjoys traveling in the United States and abroad.

Grid 3

Rob Vanasek

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Rob has owned and has endlessly been renovating his home in Iris Park//Union Park since 2005. He’s been on the Committee on Land Use and Economic Development since 2007, and also has participated on Environment & Parks, Transportation, the Executive Committee and various task forces. He enjoys the outdoors and traveling to our public parks, waters, wilderness areas and forests when he’s not restoring his home or advocating at the state capitol on behalf of local nonprofits, multimodal transportation and renewable energy.

Grid 4

Claire Warren

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Claire Warren lives in Saint Paul and has rented a home in the Merriam Park East neighborhood since 2016. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and works for Metro Transit as an engineer focused on conservation engineering and sustainable operations. A sourdough enthusiast, Claire is attempting to grow her own wheat so she can harvest and mill her own flour for bread baking. She loves complicated cooking and eating Thai food from On’s Thai on University Avenue. A biking enthusiast, Claire co-chairs the Transportation Committee for UPDC.

Grid 5

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This seat is currently vacant.

Grid 6

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This seat is currently vacant.

Grid 7

Sarah Dvorak

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Sarah Dvorak has lived in Merriam Park with her husband and two sons since 2002. She received her J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and works for Wolters Kluwer as a legal quality analyst. Sarah volunteers on two non-profits that foster community engagement and programs that serve youth in the community. In addition to volunteering, Sarah is passionate about running and yoga.

Grid 8

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This seat is currently vacant.

Grid 9

Josh Capistrant

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Josh Capistrant, his wife, Laura, and their two kids have lived in a humble house near Merriam Park Library since 2004. He has been a Union Park District Council board member since 2013. Josh is an architect who runs Crows Nest Design from home with a workshop nearby in the Creative Enterprise Zone. An active volunteer, he gives time to Scouts BSA, the Merriam Park Community Garden and the Midway branch of the Minnesota Tool Library, which he co-founded. The development of an equitable development scorecard for Union Park is Josh's most ardent wish for the community. He longs to mentor new members and stay active with the Neighborhood Involvement and Land Use & Economic Development committees; he also represents UPDC on the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee. In his spare time, Josh runs a LEGO business (Bricktopus) with his son, Isaac, does printmaking and enjoys movies.

Grid 10

Scott Berger

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Scott Berger moved to Union Park in 2017. Scott is a practicing patent attorney, and studied physics at St. Olaf College before teaching for a year in France and eventually attending law school. Scott has been a year-round cyclist for numerous winters, but is also an automotive enthusiast, particularly electric cars. Scott's favorite way to get around is on foot, and he walks his children to daycare each day no matter the conditions. Scott is originally from the west suburbs of Minneapolis, and has rented in the Cathedral Hill, Downtown St. Paul, Wedge, and Loring Park neighborhoods.

Grid 11

Dan Elenbaas

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A transplant from Michigan, Dan Elenbaas has been living in Grid 16 of the Lexington-Hamline neighborhood since 2006. He’s a civil engineer who enjoys restoring his historic home that was designed and built by famed architect Franklin Ellerbe. Dan and his wife, Ann, are raising Sawyer and Audrey as they grow through elementary and middle school and are actively involved with their children in soccer and basketball. They love their walkable neighborhood.

Dan has served on the Union Park board since 2012, including as past president and a vice president on the Executive Committee. He currently sits on the Transportation Committee. He enjoys bicycling to work and, in nice weather, cycling just for the exercise.

At Large

Henry Parker

Board President

Henry Parker lives in Merriam Park with his wife, Eve, and looks forward to raising a family in their home. He was raised in the Lex-Ham neighborhood of Saint Paul and returned to Minnesota after serving in Korea and Texas in the U.S. Army from 2014-2018. Prior to his military service, Henry worked for Congresswoman Betty McCollum in Washington, D.C. and in Saint Paul. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Bates College in Maine and is finishing his Master of Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Henry recently became an asset manager at CommonBond Communities and serves on the board of the St. Paul DFL. He joined the Union Park District Council board in 2018 and has been president since fall 2019. He previously co-chaired the Transportation Committee.

At Large

Ellen Fee

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Ellen Fee is a writer, teaching artist, and youthworker focused on creative writing and arts education. A Union Park renter since 2016, Ellen is interested in fostering deeper neighborhood engagement and building a creative community that meets the needs of its residents.

At-Large Non-Profit

Mike Robertson

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Mike Robertston is a longtime Saint Paul resident, restoration carpenter and cycling enthusiast. He is program manager for the A Brush with Kindness program at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, which provides painting and repair services for low-income homeowners throughout the metro area. Along with his wife and two daughters, he is currently living through his fourth Saint Paul old-house restoration adventure, this one on Laurel Avenue in Merriam Park.

At-Large Business

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This seat is currently vacant.

Skyline Tower

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This seat is currently vacant.

LEXINGTON-HAMLINE COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Kent Treichel

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Kent Treichel has loved maps and faraway places since he was old enough to turn the pages of National Geographic magazine. Once or twice a year, the magazine included fold-out maps, which he taped to his bedroom walls. A steady stream of foreign exchange students and a trip to Japan in seventh grade cemented his focus outside of Minnesota. The desire gained direction when a couple of his friends began teaching geography at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College. He wasn't sure what he would do with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography, but the coursework was interesting and seemingly connected to nearly every other academic discipline. Kent was fortunate to find a job making maps, and three years later he was part of the U of M's first Master of Geographic Information Science (MGIS) class. A short 19 years later, Kent finished his MGIS and has maintained his childhood fascination with maps and geography.

DESNOYER PARK IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION

Gregg Gridley

Board Vice President

Gregg Gridley lives in Desnoyer Park with his wife, Linda, and their dog, Gracie. He has served on the Desnoyer Park Improvement Association board for five years, and manages the Desnoyer Park website, Facebook page and email newsletter. He especially enjoys the activities that involve his neighbors in Desnoyer Park ("Saint Paul's Hidden Community"), such as the annual Summer Picnic, and hopes to support more activities in the future.

UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS

Amy Gage

Board Secretary

Amy Gage is director of neighborhood and community relations at the University of St. Thomas. She and her husband, David Studer, moved to Merriam Park after raising their two sons in Northfield. A former journalist and multimodal advocate who walks to work, Amy writes and edits for streets.mn and writes a blog about women at midlife, The Middle Stages. She also co-chairs the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee (WSNAC), which works on collaborative town-gown issues in the neighborhoods around St. Thomas. A former co-chair of Union Park's Committee on Land Use and Economic Development, Amy now serves on the Transportation Committee and is a vice president on the Executive Committee. She also volunteers for Meals on Wheels through Keystone Community Services.

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY

Bruce Corrie

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Dr. Bruce Corrie over the past three decades has integrated his various roles as economist, cultural entrepreneur, professor and administrator, to change the narrative of immigrants and minorities from deficits to assets and to champion efforts around economic, political and academic inclusion. While serving as director of the department of Planning and Economic Development in the Capital City of Saint Paul, he continued his work on minority business development and implemented a strategy of economic inclusion that resulted in positive outcomes and deeper institutional change.

His global perspective derives from his travel to 27 countries in six continents, including accrediting/developing academic programs in Mongolia, China, Hong Kong, India and Mexico. A faculty member of Concordia since 1987, Dr. Corrie has served on the board of several national, state and local public and nonprofit boards, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Governor’s Workforce Development Council, the Governor’s Working Group on Minority Business Development (which he chaired) and the World Cultural Heritage District.

MACALESTER COLLEGE

Jack Acomb

Board Vice President

Born and raised in Minnesota, Jack Acomb is a sophomore at Macalester College in St. Paul, studying Geography and Political Science. During his time at Macalester, his experiences have ranged from serving as the college’s representative on the Union Park District Council board to interning as a GIS analyst for the Environmental Working Group in Minneapolis. Jack's passion for community and the environment -- which include serving on the Minnetonka park board while a high school student -- make him a natural fit for this board position. He serves on UPDC's Committee on Land Use and Economic Development (CLUED).