Executive Director | John Wayne Barker | Twitter: @bigbarks22
“JWB” grew up in Roseville, Minnesota. He graduated from St. Cloud State with a degree in therapeutic recreation that required a 10-week unpaid internship where he lived in the basement of building #7 on the Brainerd State Hospital Campus. Through that experience, he became dedicated to improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). He went on to obtain his Master of Science degree in Management from Cardinal Stritch University. Before joining Merrick in 1998, JWB worked in the human services field for both the private sector and state agency side, including starting Focus Homes, Inc., a residential services provider and CLEAR Services, Inc., an adult education program for people with I/DD that continues to make a difference today. He is responsible for the implementation of Merrick’s strategic plan that encompasses the mission, vision, values, and goals developed in collaboration with the Board of Trustees; and facilitates the Development and Governance Committees. He provides leadership to the Director Team to incorporate the strategic plan into daily operations; prepare, submit, and manage the budget; represent the agency to external constituencies and on legislative matters; and support internal initiatives designed to enhance employee and client morale. JWB lives in Eagan with his wife Mary and three adult children. A dedicated Rotarian member (Club President in ’08-’09), and volunteer donor with the Red Cross Aphaeresis Unit, fly-fishing, and hunting with his dog Bean make up his time away from work. He has also served on the Eagan Athletic Association Board of Directors. To many people’s dismay, he shaves his head and has a fondness for Zubaz. Get to know more about JWB through his blog, Bark’s Bytes.
Finance and Development Director | Mike Greenbaum
Hailing from Brookings, South Dakota,Mike attended the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management where he received his finance degree with a minor in economics. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University. After graduating from the U of M, Mike worked as a Commercial Loan Officer as part of a ten-person officer team managing a $100 million bank. He began at Merrick in 2000 where he is responsible for managing the company’s budget, overseeing fundraising and work procurement, and creating partnerships with external constituencies that benefit clients, staff, and the community. He also facilitates the functions of the Finance Committee. Mike lives in White Bear Lake with his wife and four children. In his time away from the office, he works as a statistician for the Minnesota Timberwolves, volunteers for and is a former board member of the Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic for Children’s Cancer Research at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, is a member of the MnWorks! Board of Directors, is the region 12 board representative for MnDACA, and serves as a volunteer coach for a number of his children’s activities. He tries to escape his busy life by running marathons.
Human Resources Director | Jane M. Peltier
Jane grew up in northern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Her love for the human services field began during a six-week internship at the Minnesota Learning Centerlocated on the campus of Brainerd State Hospital. Following the internship, Cambridge State Hospital hired her as a Behavior Analyst. A few years later, she joined the staff of Merrick, Inc., with the same job classification. In 1987, she was promoted to management and then named Human Resources Director in 1991. Jane holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification and is designated as a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS). Additionally, she is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Trusight (formerly known as the Employers Association). As the HR Director, she is responsible for planning, developing, and administering the human resource functions within the company and facilitates the functions of the Human Resources Committee.She lives inStillwater with her husband, two grown children, three marvelous cats, and one dopey but lovable dog. In her free time, she enjoys reading fiction, traveling, baking, laughing with her family, and is a bit embarrassed to admit that she is a reality TV junkie.
Operations Director | Patrick Allen Hanson
Growing up in “Friendly Fridley”, Pat pursued both sports and his academic interests that led him to St. Cloud StateUniversity where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with an emphasis in behavioral analysis and management. He was also a member of the SCSU football and track teams (Go Huskies!) After graduating in 1984, Pat submitted an application to a small nonprofit social services program by the name of Merrick for the position of Behavior Analyst. Many years later, with a lot less hair and slightly poorer vision, the same organization still employs him. Although the name of the business and his position have both changed (Merrick, Inc., and Operations Director respectively) his enthusiasm and dedication have not. Pat oversees the production and operations of all on-site contracts, off-site contracts, and business ventures managed by Merrick. He supervises all production activities in compliance with Federal and State wage and hour guidelines and OSHA regulations. In addition, he is responsible for all maintenance systems used to ensure a clean, safe, and functional work environment. He also facilitates the functions of the Work Procurement Committee. Pat lives in Hugo with his wife Sue (also a longtime employee of Merrick) and their daughter Samantha.
Program Director | Colleen Timbers
Colleen’s involvement in the human services field spans 30+ years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences and a secondary teaching certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Colleen began working at Merrick in 1984 and became the Program Director in 1988. She is actively involved in a number of workgroups and committees related to voter rights, advocacy, conference planning, and leadership. Before moving to Minnesota, she worked with nursing home resident councils focusing on transitioning people with challenges out of nursing homes into their own homes, and also spent time teaching in secondary public and private schools. As Merrick’s Program Director, she promotes self-advocacy and the person centered planning process; encourages people to discover their own voice and find the power within them to lead the lives they choose no matter where they are in the spectrum of life. She facilitates Merrick's Advocacy Committee. Since Colleen is originally a Wisconsinite, her affection for the Green Bay Packers keeps a loving rivalry alive with Viking supporting clients and co-workers alike.
Training and Technical Assistance Director | James M. Chicone
“Jim” grew up on St. Paul’s Eastside, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from St. Cloud State, a Master of Science degree in Continuing Studies in Special Education from Mankato State, and a Master of Science degree in School Psychology from theUniversity of Wisconsin, River Falls. A Licensed Psychologist since 1982, Jim began his human services career in 1972. He gained valuable experience working in a variety of positions, including program director, in both residential and day service settings. Jim arrived at Merrick in 1983 as the Staff Psychologist, and as his roles and responsibilities evolved, his position evolved into his current title of Training and Technical Assistance Director. Jim served on the Kaposia, inc., Board of Directors, is currently on the Utilization Review Committee for Owakihi, Inc., and is a member or chairperson of a number of day program and residential Human Rights Committees, including Axis, Inc., Star, Inc., Kaposia, inc., Midway Training Services, Inc., Owakihi, Inc., and REM/Mentor, Inc. Jim is an Associate Member of the American Psychological Association. He oversees Merrick’s compliance with statutory requirements governing employee training, client protection, use of controlled procedures, and the reporting of maltreatment of vulnerable adults. He acts as an internal consultant to the Executive Director and Management Team and serves as the project lead for a variety of program and human resource development initiatives; he also facilitates the functions of the Human Rights Committee. Jim and his wife Donna live in Woodbury with two Portuguese Water Dogs, Jazz and Jive. As “empty nesters”, Jim and his wife thoroughly enjoy spending time with their son and daughter-in-law every chance they get. Jim’s goal in life is to quietly make a difference, and his approach is best reflected in the quote, “We may not be able to change the past, but we can help shape the future.”