Governor Dayton and Mayor R. T. Rybak pick the Stadium Committee for Our new stadium

Per the Pioneer Press, the five member Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, "charged with acquiring land and overseeing design and construction of the new stadium" has been picked by Governor Dayton and Minneapolis R. T. Rybak and are as follows:

  • Michele Kelm-Helgen - Chairwoman (Dayton)
  • Joe Griffith (Dayton)
  • Duane Benson (Dayton)
  • Barbara Butts-Williams (Rybak)
  • Bill McCarthy (Rybak)

A bit of the rundown of the members after the jump.

Michele Kelm-Helgen

Gov. Mark Dayton has tapped his deputy chief of staff to oversee efforts to build the new Vikings stadium he spent much of the last session championing.

Michele Kelm-Helgen will chair the five-member Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, charged with acquiring land and overseeing design and construction of the new stadium.

"She's one of the smartest people I know," said chief of staff Tina Smith, speaking at a news conference Thursday, June 14, for the governor, who is on a trade trip in China.

Kelm-Helgen will give up her administration job to run the new public body, which replaces the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, owner and operator of the Metrodome.

She previously served as chief of staff for the state Senate, as partner at the government affairs consulting firm North State Advisers and as director at Control Data Corp., now known as Ceridian. She earned an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a bachelor's degree from St. Catherine University.

Joe Griffith

executive vice president of property development for Target Corporation

Duane Benson

Benson, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation, has also been a consultant to Tunheim Partners, a public relations firm that represents the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. A spokesman for the firm said Benson resigned as soon as he found out he had been nominated to the new authority.

And from Wikipedia

Dean Duane Benson (born August 5, 1945 in Belmond, Iowa) is a former American football linebacker. He played college football at Hamline University. He played professionally in the American Football League for the Oakland Raiders (1967–1969) and in the National Football League for the Raiders (1970–1971), the Atlanta Falcons (1972–1973), and the Houston Oilers (1974–1976).

And from his Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Board of Trustees Profile:

Duane Benson, Lanesboro, is the executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation. 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 11 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.

A resident of the First Congressional District, Benson was first appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2004. He was reappointed by Governor Pawlenty in 2010 for a six-year term ending on June 30, 2016.

Barbara Butts Williams

Dean, School of Education

Barbara Butts Williams was appointed dean of Capella University's School of Education in 2009. Since joining Capella in 2002, she has served in a variety of academic leadership positions, including interim dean, associate dean, director of graduate programs, and MBA program faculty director with the School of Business and Technology.

Butts Williams has more than 30 years of management and leadership experience, including a decade in higher education leadership roles. She previously served as director of executive programs for the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and on the executive education advisory council of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Her corporate experience includes executive education and management positions at The St. Paul Companies (now Travelers), Control Data Corporation (now Ceridian), and Wilson Learning Corporation. She also founded Growth Partners Consulting and was a governor appointee to the Minnesota Board of Social Work and The Metropolitan Council.

Butts Williams earned her Master of Arts in Business and Leadership from Hamline University, and her Master of Arts in Organization Development and Doctor of Philosophy in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University.

Bill McCarthy

President Bill McCarthy

Bill McCarthy is a Minneapolis native, a Vietnam War veteran and a University of Minnesota alumnus. He joined Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Local 17 in 1985, became a business representative and was then elected president of the local. As president, Bill helped lead support for the Holiday Inn Express workers and led hundreds of Minneapolis hotel workers in their landmark strike in 2000.

Serving since 2002 as the elected President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, Bill McCarthy is committed to ensuring that all workers earn a living wage, receive health and retirement benefits, and most importantly, are treated with dignity and respect.

Bill currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Workers Interfaith Network, and the Twin Cities Area Labor/Management Council. Additionally, Bill is Chairman of the Board for Working Partnerships, Inc., a nonprofit he created to serve union members in need and their families.

Bill is committed to organizing, mobilizing and reaching out to community allies to build partnerships to create good jobs and strong communities.

So there you go, those are the people that will be responsible for the planning, preparation and designing of our new stadium. Personally, I like the picks, though I think Bill McCarthy is a bit of a stretch in the fifth.

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