Six new members with strong St. Thomas connections (five alumni and one parent) joined the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees on July 1.
The new trustees are: Katharine A. Groethe; Sister Mary Haddad '07 MBA, RSM; James P. Kolar '85; Nancy Peterson '85, '04 MBA; Debbra L. Schoneman ’96 MBA; and Carol Frey Wolfe '83.
“These six new trustees are very involved not only in the St. Thomas community, but in their broader communities as well,” President Julie Sullivan said. “They understand the importance of our university and higher education overall in advancing the common good at this crucial time in our society. We are honored to have their expertise on our board.”
About the new trustees
Katharine A. Groethe
Groethe is owner and CEO of Katharine’s Garden, LLC, a U.S. wine importer and distributor of Korta Katarina wines from Croatia. Her parents, Lee and Penny Anderson, established the winery in the late 1990s. Today Korta Katarina operates a state-of-the-art winery, tasting room and wine bar, and a boutique hotel, Villa Katarina, in Orebić, Croatia, on the south Adriatic coast.
Groethe earned a bachelor's degree in art history from Pine Manor College in Brookline, Massachusetts. Before her involvement with Korta Katarina, she served for 15 years as vice president of marketing for her family’s business, APi Group Inc.
Groethe serves on the boards of the Breck School and the Lee R. Anderson Family Foundation and previously served on the boards of Pine Manor College, Episcopal Community Services and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Her son, Griffin, graduated from St. Thomas this year; daughter Katharine (“Penny”) will be a sophomore at St. Thomas this fall.
Sister Mary Haddad '07 MBA, RSM
Haddad, a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, is president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. She succeeded Sister Carol Keehan, DC, in that role in 2019; Keehan was a St. Thomas trustee from 2007-13.
Haddad leads CHA’s mission to support and advance the health ministry of the Catholic Church in the United States with its network of hospitals, long-term care facilities and community health centers that represent the largest group of nonprofit health providers in the nation.
Prior to her selection as president and CEO, Haddad served for three years as CHA’s vice president of sponsorship and mission services. From 2009-16 she was senior director of sponsor services. Her previous experience also includes serving on the regional leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy, St. Louis, and working in areas of health care, social service and education, including work in Belize, Trinidad and Tobago.
Haddad has a bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She received her MBA in health care from St. Thomas in 2007. She also earned a master’s degree in social work from St. Louis University. She is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education.
James P. Kolar '85
Kolar is the market managing partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Central market, responsible for all activities in the Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Omaha, Des Moines, Peoria and Fayetteville offices. Currently based in Chicago, he has more than 34 years of experience at PwC in its Baltimore, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Orange County, Minneapolis and Chicago offices since he began his career.
Prior to beginning his current role, Kolar was PwC’s office managing partner in Orange County, market managing partner in Minneapolis, and the greater Chicago market managing partner. He also is beginning his eighth year and serving his second term as a member of PwC’s Board of Partners and Principals.
Kolar is active in the Chicago community, serving on the boards of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Economic Club of Chicago, Chicago Urban League, Chicago United, Executives’ Club of Chicago, World Business Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Big Shoulders Fund and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. He also is a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Additionally, he serves on the board of TreeHouse in Minneapolis and served from 2008-20 on the St. Thomas Academy Board of Trustees, which he chaired from 2013-17.
A 1985 College of St. Thomas alumnus, he earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance and is a certified public accountant. He is a member of the AICPA and the Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants.
In addition to his service on the Board of Trustees, he also served 10 years on
St. Thomas’ Catholic Studies Advisory Board and currently serves on the university’s GHR Fellows Advisory Council.
Nancy Peterson '85, '04 MBA
Peterson is owner and chief executive officer of Bloomington, Minnesota-based Display Sales, a 54-year-old company that she, her mother and another investor purchased in 1996. The company provides street-beautification products such as decorations, lighting, custom banners and flags for cities and academic institutions nationwide. Peterson previously worked as an accountant for a printing company and a mineral distributor.
A double alumna of the St. Thomas, Peterson received a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1985 and an MBA from the university's Executive MBA Program in 2004.
A member of the St. Thomas Alumni Advisory Board since 2012, Peterson formerly served on St. Thomas’ Next Generation Steering Committee and currently serves on the board of directors of the Think GREAT Foundation, which supports scholarships for military spouses. She also is passionate about health and wellness, is a certified yoga instructor and plans to become a certified Pilates instructor as well.
Peterson became the alumni representative to the Board of Trustees on July 1, following her term as president of the St. Thomas Alumni Advisory Board.
Debbra L. Schoneman ’96 MBA
Schoneman is president and a managing director of Piper Sandler Companies, the full-service financial services and investment firm created by the January 2020 merger of Piper Jaffray Companies and Sandler O’Neill + Partners L.P. She also is a member of the firm’s board of directors. She joined Piper Jaffray in 1990 in the accounting department, and has held several senior management positions, including global head of equities, chief financial officer, finance director of both equity and fixed income capital markets, and treasurer.
Schoneman has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Minnesota State University, Mankato and earned an MBA from St. Thomas in 1996. She has participated in St. Thomas’ Alumni Mentoring Program, has served as a guest speaker on campus, and is currently a member of the GHR Fellows Advisory Council.
A member of the board of directors of SIFMA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Schoneman also serves as vice chair of the board of directors of Minneapolis-based Allina Health and chairs its Finance Committee. She is a director emeritus of BestPrep, a nonprofit organization focused on business, career and financial literacy skills, and was its chair for two years. She also has completed three mission trips to Haiti through Healing Haiti and was named “CFO of the Year” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in 2014.
Carol Frey Wolfe '83
Wolfe is president and chief executive officer of the Frey Foundation, founded in 1988 by her parents, Mary and Eugene Frey (a 1952 College of St. Thomas alumnus and trustee emeritus who served for 30 years on the university’s board). Wolfe previously served as the foundation’s vice president and program manager. The Frey Foundation’s focus is support for affordable housing, education and human services initiatives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
Wolfe earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and business from the College of St. Thomas in 1983. She has since served on advisory boards for St. Thomas’ former College of Education, Leadership and Counseling and the Dougherty Family College. She also served on her Class Reunion Committee, the Next Generation Steering Committee and the President’s Council Task Force.