Loppet Foundation

Board of Directors

Bill BlazerBill BlazarPresident – Bill Blazar is senior vice president – Public Affairs & Business Development, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. All three of his son’s started skiing at Wirth Park and as members of the Minneapolis Southwest Nordic Ski Team, practiced and competed on its trails for many years. When they weren’t skiing, they were sailing or fishing on the city’s chain of lakes. Bill and his wife, Mary Hunstiger, live in south Minneapolis.

Board Committees: Governance, Finance and Audit, Fundraising

Mark BixbyMark BixbyVice President – Mark serves as Loppet Medical Director in his abundant leisure time from his regular job as Medical Director for North Memorial Clinic Services. He skis both summer and winter – water in the summer, snow in the winter. He enjoys his family, including his two granddaughters and his three children.

Board Committees: Governance, Program

Scott GislasonScott GislasonTreasurer – Scott’s Nordic skiing experience extends back to the days of wool knickers, three pin bindings and wooden skis. Scott’s background as a CPA (inactive) and financial advisor have helped him serve as the Foundation’s Treasurer for the past nine years. Scott takes great pride in the many strides the organization has made over these years. Scott is an enthusiastic skier and regular citizen racer.

Board Committees: Governance, Finance and Audit, Fundraising

Steve KotivsSteve KotvisSecretary – Steve is the longtime photographer extraordinaire for the Loppet Foundation. He plants himself in snowbanks, climbs trees and takes to the lakes all to capture the spirit and energy of participants on the race course. Steve enjoys skiing and road biking and contributes his creative energy to many of the Loppet’s media endeavors.

Board Committees: Program, Fundraising

Mindy BentonMindy Benton – Mindy grew up on a small farm in Scandia where she learned to love the outdoors. She works as a Podiatric Surgeon for Allina Health and is the residency Program Director for Foot and Ankle Surgery at HCMC. All members of the Benton family have participated in Loppet Nordic training and events. Mindy is motivated to help children and young adults make a strong connection to health and to the environment with the Loppet Foundation.

Board Committees: Program

Mia ComoMia Como – Mia has worked in financial analysis, most recently for Minnwest Bank, and with nonprofits both as staff and board member. She grew up enjoying Minneapolis’ parks and has hiked in over 20 national parks. Mia lives with her family in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis, where they love to hike, bike, and be outdoors.

Board Committees: Finance and Audit, Fundraising

Joseph DuffyJoseph Duffy – Joseph is the resident doodler for the Loppet. With a fifteen year career in graphic design, he is a partner and the design director at Duffy & Partners in Minneapolis (http://www.duffy.com). Living his entire life is MN Joseph’s love of winter is second to none. A passionate backcountry skier, he spends his winter days in Minnesota on his skinny skis preparing for his next big adventure out west on his fat ones.

Board Committees: Program, Fundraising

Penelope GreenePenelope Greene – Penelope and her family embrace life in Minnesota through participation in Loppet Foundation events and programs. She is an avid rower with the Minneapolis Rowing Club. A former business owner and consultant, and an experienced leader in not-for-profit organizations, Penelope looks forward to working with the Loppet Foundation to bring the benefits of excellent recreational programming to the Minneapolis community.

Board Committees: Fundraising

Dr. Julia Joseph-Di CaprioDr. Julia Joseph-Di Caprio – “Dr. Julia” is a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist. She was HCMC’s Chief of Pediatrics for 12 years until 2015 and now, in addition to caring for patients, serves as HCMC’s Assistant Chief of Provider Services and Senior Medical Director of Primary Care. Julia is also an alumni of the Massachusetts General Disparities Leadership Program and she is working towards health equity for all. Both personally and professionally, Julia believes in the health benefits of living an outdoor-active life.

Judd LarsonJudd Larson – Judd is the Chief Financial Officer at Environmental Initiative (EI), whose mission is to build partnerships to solve environmental problems. He spent 20 years in the corporate sector before jumping to EI and the non-profit sector in 2000. Judd enjoys helping EI and the Loppet create sustainable and profitable business models. Judd is a year-round bicycle commuter and has spent countless early mornings hiking Wirth park with golf clubs on his back. Judd lives on the east side of Lake Calhoun along with his wife and their high school aged daughter.

Board Committees: Finance and Audit

Beth LasleyBeth Lasley – Beth has been involved in North Minneapolis Public Schools for 16 years. She was the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Community Education Coordinator at North High School and is now the parent/teacher/community liaison at MPS’ Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School. Beth is a Charter Member of the Northside Rotary Club. Dedicated to her family, Beth’s son Nathaniel was a camp counselor at Loppet Adventure Camp and her husband Steve, a MPS retired high school English teacher/coach, works part-time at the Theodore Wirth Park Golf Course. Beth enjoys walking, biking, and she looks forward to becoming a more proficient skier and working with the Loppet Foundation to explore even more innovative program ideas to benefit our Minneapolis communities.

Board Committees: Program

Leroy LeftwichLeroy Leftwich – Leroy is retired after 39 years as a Manufacture and Safety Engineer at 3M. He has participated the last five years in the City of Lakes Loppet races and enjoys other activities such as road biking, running, and Nordic walking. His desire to be on the City of Lakes Loppet Board is the help promote Nordic actives in the elementary schools and other youth programs.

Board Committees: Finance and Audit

Carl ShafferCarl Shaffer – Carl has been involved with Loppet activities for many years, including participating in the Classic Loppet, Tri-Loppet, and Trail Loppet, working a course venue at the Loppet, running paddle clinics for the Tri-Loppet, and doing course marking for the Trail Loppet. Additionally, Carl coaches a high school nordic ski team that has many high school skiers participating in LNR. During the day, Carl runs a company that sells and services overhead bridge cranes that service the manufacturing industry.

Board Committees: Fundraising and Program

Jonathan Van HornJonathan Van Horn – Jon is partner in the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where he practices in the area of corporate mergers and acquisitions. Jon’s parents taught him how to cross country ski on the Kettle Moraine trails of southern Wisconsin and the logging roads of northwest Wisconsin. Jon, along with his wife, Gail, and two elementary school-aged sons live in Golden Valley, a short walk from Wirth Beach and the Quaking Bog, and are year-round users of the skiing, hiking and biking trails of Theodore Wirth Park.

Board Committees: Finance and Audit, Governance

Honorary Board Members

R.T. RybakR.T. Rybak – Mayor R.T. Rybak has been a longtime supporter and racer in the Loppet community. As Mayor, Rybak was responsible for calling the first public meeting on silent sports which drew together skiers, mountain bikers, paddlers and other outdoor enthusiasts to network and brainstorm ways to celebrate Minneapolis as a silent sports city. Rybak has encouraged and supported the efforts of the Loppet Foundation since its inception. He can often be seen skiing the City of Lakes Loppet and paddling in the Tri-Loppet.

Board Committees

  • Governance – Bill Blazar, Mark Bixby, Scott Gislason
  • Finance and Audit – Scott Gislason, Bill Blazar, Leroy Leftwich
  • Program – Joseph Duffy, Mark Bixby, Steve Kotvis, Mark Raderstorf, Mindy Benton, Carl Shaffer, Beth Lasley
  • Fundraising – Bill Blazar, Scott Gislason, Steve Kotvis, Joseph Duffy, Penelope Greene, Carl Shaffer