Leadership

Executive Committee

CHAIR

Merryn Jolkovsky, MD

Palliative Care Physician, CentraCare Health
Member since 2015

“It finally occurred to me to ask ‘what’s wrong with the care we’re giving [patients] that they’re not happy?’ I started focusing on the end of life issues then…”

Merryn Jolkovsky

VICE CHAIR

Mary Ellen Wells

U of M Schools of Public Health
Member since 2017

“My core purpose is healing…it’s about people healing…that, combined with a lifelong commitment to giving, led me to the organization.”

Mary Ellen Wells

TREASURER

Joy Hornung

Public Accounting—Operations Manager, Clifton Larson Allen
Member since 2016

“As a parent of grown children, I would hate for them to have to guess what I want…so I think having the Advance Care Plan is very important for all ages.”

Joy Hornung

SECRETARY

Patricia Bresser

St. Cloud State University, Nursing Dept.
Faculty Emertia
Member since 2015

“I think Advanced Care Planning is one of the critical issues for twenty-first century health care, and there are a lot of critical issues issues for twenty-first century health care.”

Patricia Bresser

Staff

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lynn MacKenzie

“I had to make some very difficult decisions on behalf of my husband…but I could make those decisions with a clear conscience because we had talked about it and I knew what his wishes were.”

Lynn MacKenzie

Board Members

BOARD MEMBER

Deborah Laxson

Founder, Heath Care Agent
Member since 2018

“The Health Care Directive really becomes the anchor on how to make the best decisions for our loved ones.”

Deborah Laxson

BOARD MEMBER

Bret Reuter

Director of Mission and Spiritual Care, St. Cloud Hospital (CentraCare), St. Benedicts Senior Community
Member since 2018

“I see this as an opportunity to make people’s lives better at every juncture so that when we do come to that final end, we’ll have the best experience we can have when transitioning.”

Bret Reuter

BOARD MEMBER

Michelle Jaskolka

Palliative Care Coordinator, CentraCare Health
Member since 2017

“Anyone who is not familiar with what Advance Care Planning is or what Light the Legacy does really just needs to know that they have the power to ask the questions…everybody has a voice…it’s all about putting yourself in the driver’s seat of your own care.”

–Michelle Jaskolka

BOARD MEMBER

Chad Roggeman

Attorney, Rajkowski Hansmeier, Ltd.
Member since 2017

“In the 1980s a legal mechanism was enacted to give people options…before that happened, a lot of families were caught in a bind wondering ‘what did dad want? ‘what did mom want?’ Now we can find out what mom or dad want in a way that is really useful and legally binding.”

Chad Roggeman

BOARD MEMBER

Jolene Klocker Schley

Attorney, Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A.
Member since 2017

“I practice estate planning so becoming a Light the Legacy board member was a pretty easy answer for me considering I help people with end-of-life decisions every day.”

–Jolene Klocker Schley

BOARD MEMBER

Nola Varilek

Community Outreach, CentraCare HomeCare & Hospice
Member since 2017

“I really became interested in end-of-life issues when my own father had a catastrophic stroke. My parents thought they had everything laid out…in reality the living will they had completed really didn’t tell us anything…even nine years later, we still question ourselves if we made the right decisions.”

Nola Varilek

BOARD MEMBER

Catherine “Cate” Anderson

Hospice Palliative Care Coordinator, St. Cloud VA HCS
Member since 2017

“I saw a lot of ‘bad’ deaths in my day as an RN and then I thought that it really doesn’t have to be this way…”

–Catherine “Cate” Anderson

Ex-Officio Board Members

ASSISTANT SECRETARY & PAST BOARD CHAIR

Vicki Morgan

Professionally Retired
Member since 2015

“I’ve been with families who have dealt with death as part of the reality of life…and it has been such a smoother and more beautiful transition.”

Vicki Morgan

EX OFFICIO BOARD MEMBER

Jonathan Wong