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Advisory Board – Past & Present

National Advisory Board

In building Homespire as a new model for whole person senior care, we needed to go beyond current options. We’ve witnessed the problems of the current health and senior care system first-hand. The problems were too complex to fix with a silo approach. It wasn’t just a ‘health care’ issue – it was a life issue.

So we sought to break out of the health care system boundaries to create a system solution that spans the full spectrum of life for seniors. We brought together a team of national thought-leaders from across the country with expertise in a broad range of specialties, who could help push our thinking, challenge assumptions, and help refine our services and capabilities for you and your family.

Take a moment to meet our past and present Advisory Board Members.

Elmer Baldwin

Managing Director Cherry Tree Companies

As managing director at Cherry Tree Companies, Elmer Baldwin draws on his extensive experience operating under virtually all ownership and governance structures to focus on developing Cherry Tree’s established practice in information technology services.

Formerly president and chief executive officer, Baldwin led the Minnesota-based Internet Broadcasting into a new era of growth. An invested entrepreneur, he brings a track record of success at various established and start-up technology firms including units of Fujitsu, Accenture, Egghead Software, and Oracle.
Baldwin also served as president and CEO of Analysts International Corp., a large Minneapolis-based provider of IT services, including staffing and project-based solutions, to businesses and government agencies. Before that, he was president and CEO of Minnetonka-based BORN Information Services, which was sold to Fujitsu after he helped restore BORN to profitability.

Earlier, he was president and CEO of Via World Network, an Accenture-backed Minneapolis-based provider of travel automation tools and services. He joined Via from Egghead Software, where he was vice president of the company’s corporate, government, and education division. Previously, he was a group director for Oracle Corp.’s consulting business, launching its Minneapolis office.
Baldwin began his career as a systems engineer and analyst at Hughes Aircraft and, before that, Northrop Corp., both in his native California. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in finance from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

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Mary Jo Kreitzer

Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD

Founder & Director Center for Spirituality & Healing

As founder and director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing, Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer brings more than 20 years of leadership and expertise to the field of integrative health and medicine. She was the principal investigator (PI) of a $1.6 million National Institutes of Health (NCCAM) education grant and a Fetzer Institute funded evaluation of the Inner Life of Healers Program and the co-PI of a five year $2.1 million NIH (NINR) clinical trial of mindfulness meditation with solid organ transplant patients.

She is currently the co-PI of an NIH NCCAM R21 grant on mind/body interventions for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients and is the co-investigator of a clinical trial comparing mindfulness meditation with pharmacotherapy for people with chronic insomnia.

In addition to her administrative responsibilities for the Center for Spirituality and Healing, Mary Jo teaches a course on optimal healing environments in the graduate minor in integrative therapies and healing practices and is a tenured professor in the School of Nursing where she is co-director of the doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) program in integrative health and healing. From 2004-2007, she served as the vice-chair of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. In 2008, she was named by Minnesota Physician as one of the 100 most influential health care leaders in the state. In 2009, she testified at a US Senate hearing titled “Integrative Health: Pathway to Health Reform” as well as the Institute of Medicine Summit titled “Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public.” Dr. Kreitzer earned her doctoral degree in health services research and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing.


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Richard Leider

Richard Leider

Founder & Chairman Inventure – The Purpose Company

Richard Leider, founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company, is one of America’s preeminent executive coaches. He is ranked by Forbes as one of the “Top 5” most respected executive coaches, and by the Conference Board as a “legend in coaching.”

Richard’s nine books, including three best sellers, have sold over one million copies and have been translated into 20 languages. Repacking Your Bags and The Power of Purpose are considered classics in the personal development field.
As co-author of Life Reimagined, he is the Chief Curator of content for AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute. Widely viewed as a visionary and thought leader on the “power of purpose”, his work is featured regularly in many media sources including, PBS public television, and NPR public radio.

As a keynote speaker, he is one of a select few advisors and coaches who have been asked to work with over 100,000 leaders from over 100 organizations such as AARP, Ericsson, Mayo Clinic, MetLife, National Football League (NFL), and United Health Group to helpdiscover the power of purpose.

Richard holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a National Certified Career Counselor (NCCC), and a National Certified Master Career Counselor (MCC). As a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, he founded The Purpose Project. He is a Carlson Executive Fellow at the University of Minnesota School of Management and co-chairman of the Linkage/Global Institute for Leadership Development.


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Joel Theisen

Joel Theisen, RN

Chief Executive Officer & President Homespire

I am CEO & President of Homespire and through the work I’ve done at Lifespark, a whole person senior care company based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, I’m excited to bring the proprietary model we’ve created to Homespire and spark more lives.

My vision is clear: change the experience for people in the second half of life. My true joy is to see the spark in peoples’ eyes: customers, families, partners, employees, professional referral sources – I want them all to shine on. I may be known as a business innovator, earning numerous accolades, however, my work is not done until we have sparked the lives of millions of people in the second half of life.

Through the years, our team has seen far too many people on the roller coaster of crisis and that is just not acceptable. Our goal is to help people build a pathway to what is most important in their lives so they can live the healthiest, most independent life possible – what we call living a ‘sparked life.’

LinkedIn: Joel Theisen, RN


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Bill Thomas, MD

CEO and Founder The Eden Alternative / Greenhouse Project

Dr. Bill Thomas is an author, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, farmer and physician whose wide-ranging work explores the terrain of human aging. Best known for his health care system innovations, he is the founder of a global non-profit (The Eden Alternative) which works to improve the care provided to older people. He is the creator of The Green House(R) which Provider Magazine has called the “pinnacle of culture change.” Dr. Thomas also developed the Senior ER model of care and is now working to transform the acute care services provided to elders.

His most recent novel (“Tribes of Eden”) is a post-apocalyptic thriller that explores the value of community in a world that is increasingly defined by and dependent on digital technology. Dr. Thomas’ latest play (“Play What’s Not There”) blends Greek mythology and Jazz with a taut exploration of the tension between work and life. The play premiered at the prestigious Guthrie Theater. As the guitarist for the acoustic duo “Hot Koko,” Thomas has recorded and released two collections of American roots music.

Dr. Thomas’ eclectic career has included two decades living off the grid and running a mixed power farming operation (Summer Hill), founding one of the first technology companies to offer clinicians immediate access to outcome data (Rumpelstitlskin), teaching medical students and serving as a founding faculty member of UMBC’s Erickson School of Aging. He is also the founder of the influential multi-author blogging platform, ChangingAging.org. A popular public speaker, Dr. Thomas is known for his thoughtful, heartfelt (and Powerpoint-free) approach to engaging with a wide range of audiences.

This synthesis of imagination and action led the Wall Street Journal to highlight Dr. Thomas as one of the nation’s “top 10 innovators” changing the future of retirement in America and US News and World Report to name him as one of “America’s best leaders.” The magazine noted his “startling common-sense ideas and his ability to persuade others to take a risk,” and concluded that “this creative and wildly exuberant country doctor has become something of a culture changer–reimagining how Americans will approach aging in the 21st century.”

Dr. Thomas continues to write, perform and help Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profits develop new products and services that make the most of normal human aging.


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