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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.
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.
Rachel Callanan was born and raised in Minnesota and has officially called St. Paul home for 4 1/2 years. You can frequently see her walking dogs in the neighborhood. She is currently a senior staff attorney with the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Prior to joining the Center, Rachel was Regional Vice President if Advocacy for the American Heart Association where she led policy work in healthy eating, physical activity, and commercial tobacco control policy. With almost 18 years of experience on the front lines of passing state and local policies, Rachel has also led nonprofit advocacy with the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Minnesota Housing Partnership, and MN-NOW, and worked as a Research Associate at the institute on Race and Poverty. She has her JD from Hamline University School of Law and a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Hamline.
Claire Warren has lived in Union Park [Merriam Park East] since 2016. She recently purchased a home in the neighborhood and looks forward to many years in Saint Paul. Claire 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 sustainable engineering and operations, and electric bus implementation. Claire is also a master gardener volunteer with Ramsey county. In addition to gardening, Claire loves kayaking and spending time on the water, walking with her dog at Minnehaha dog park, and eating good food in the neighborhood [On's Thai, Kalsada, Gus Gus, Mario's, Pizza Luce].
April King has lived in the Snelling–Hamline area with her partner and two children since 2017. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, she works in information security for Dropbox, having previously worked for Mozilla and Twitter. As a lifelong geek, she also helps run CONvergence, one of the largest volunteer-run conventions in the country. In her limited remaining spare time, she cosplays, is a soccer goalkeeper, restores vintage cast iron cookware, and works to turn her lawn into a pollinator paradise.
Sarah Dvorak has lived in Union Park [Merriam Park] with her husband and two sons since 2002. She received her J.D. from the University of St. Thomas and works for Wolters Kluwer as a Senior Legal Quality Analyst. Sarah has volunteered on two non-profits that foster community engagement and serve youth in the community. In addition to volunteering, Sarah is passionate about spending time with family, walking and skiing with her dogs, biking [recreational and commuter]. as well as practicing yoga.
Board Vice President
Henry Parker lives in Merriam Park with his wife and son. 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, served as board president 2019-2021, and currently serves as board vice president. He previously co-chaired the Transportation Committee.
Dean Cummings moved to Union Park in 2017 with his wife and 8 children. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Political Science. He runs an investment firm from his home that he has been with for 30 years and recently acquired. Dean has served as co-chair of the Land Use and Economic Development committee since 2019. Dean coaches youth wrestling, plays trombone, and runs a 20 piece swing band.
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.
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.
Board Vice President
Kirsten Fryer has worked in Union Park since September 2019 and loved it so much she moved into the neighborhood in July 2020. As pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the Midway, she loves listening to stories of the neighborhood throughout its history, serves on the board of Open Hands Midway, and works on the intersections of faith, justice, and community life. She and her husband, Justin, frequently can be seen playing “Charlotte’s Web” at Aldine Park with their daughter, Joanna, usually with dog, Como, in tow. She also enjoys biking, walking, and supporting local restaurants. An avid reader, she can often be seen checking out books at the Merriam Park library. Originally from southeastern Minnesota, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For six years prior to moving to St. Paul, she worked with St. Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) in Cairo, Egypt.
Amy Gage has served on the Union Park board since October 2017, representing the University of St. Thomas during her eight-year tenure as director of neighborhood relations. A former journalist, Amy now works as managing editor of Streets.mn and as executive director of Friends of the Parks & Trails (of St. Paul & Ramsey County), which she represents in the At-Large Nonprofit seat for the UPDC board. Amy and her husband, David Studer, are empty-nest homeowners in Merriam Park, where they tend their registered Little Free Library and explore the city with rescue dogs Mia and Gabby. Amy writes a blog on women and aging (themiddlestages.com). She also volunteers for Keystone Community Services and Planned Parenthood North Central States.
Joe grew up in St Paul just south of Union Park and has lived in St Paul most of his life. He has lived in several UP locations and has been a business owner in different parts of Union Park since 2004. In 2014 Joe started Union Park Management Inc to oversee his residential and retail investment properties. Joe plays an active role in managing these properties. He is passionate about improving and maintaining historical buildings and about providing clean, safe, and reasonably priced housing to residents of Union Park. He is also passionate about helping small businesses to start and grow. As a board member Joe looks forward to continuing and growing dialog between residents of Union Park, Business Owners, and St. Paul city officials. In addition he looks forward to focusing on improving community safety, helping to promote a business friendly community and working to help residents and business owners in need.
Demetrius Shaw has been a Teen Program Coordinator at Skyline Tower since October 2018. He has a strong passion for working with youth during out of school time and has been involved in the movement for the past 10 years with experiences working as a social Rec Director and Program Director with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (3 years) & in the Twin-Cities branches (8 years). Demetrius enjoys working with youth and teens by providing support and mentorship to become their best selves, conquer challenges, and develop skills that promote character and leadership.
LEXINGTON-HAMLINE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
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
Allen Saunders was a special education teacher and school administrator in St. Paul and
Hastings Public Schools for 44 years. Since his retirement he enjoys spending time with his
children and grandchildren who live in the Twin Cities area. He plays tenor sax and serves as the
president of the River Valley Band, a 60-member community band based in Hastings. He is a
soccer enthusiast and served as a coach, referee, and leader of soccer programs for many years.
Allen moved to the Desnoyer Park area of St. Paul to live in an Edwin Lundie designed home
which he enjoys rehabilitating. You might find him on one of the many fine bike trails in the
area, the pickleball court, or clearing the ice rink at Desnoyer Park in the winter months.
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.
Lisa Mueller is Associate Professor of Political Science at Macalester College where she teaches courses on comparative politics, empirical research methods, and social movements in global contexts. A scholar of civic engagement, she is eager to facilitate communication among academics, civil servants, business leaders, and citizens. She has lived in Saint Paul since 2015, spending part of that time in Union Park. The proud daughter of immigrants from China and Germany, she embraces the diversity of Union Park and is committed to building an inclusive district. She has been an avid runner, bike commuter, and advocate for public infrastructure since her childhood in California, where she served as a student member of the City of San Ramon Parks and Community Services Commission. Lisa received her B.A. from Pomona College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA. She has been a Fulbright Scholar at Sciences Po Bordeaux and a Residential Fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. She is a frequent advisor to national organizations such as USAID, the State Department, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
Jerome brings almost a decade of experience working for government agencies and community engagement initiatives. He worked at the City of Saint Paul as Zoning Inspector and staffed the City’s Board of Zoning Appeals. He also worked closely with neighborhood residents across the city to educate them on City processes.
In addition, Jerome has worked as a Senior Planner for the Metropolitan Council and most recently as a Senior Project Manager for NEOO Partners, a real estate and community engagement planning firm located in Saint Paul. Jerome managed a number community engagement projects for municipalities in the Twin Cities with a focus on reaching underrepresented community members.
Jerome holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He is a resident of Highland Park in Saint Paul and avid pickleball player.