February 17, 2023, ST. PAUL: The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) is pleased to announce that three new members have been appointed to its Board of Directors. The new members join the current eight-member board in providing oversight and strategic guidance to the non-profit organization with the mission of Removing Barriers, Promoting Choices in assisting people with disabilities in the Twin Cities seven-county metro area. With more than 240 employees and PCAs, and a wide range of services, programs, resources, and partnerships, MCIL is among the largest Centers for Independent Living in Minnesota.
New board members are:
Barbara A. Kleist, MEd, JD, FAAIDD. As program director for entrepreneurial and development programs at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration focusing on state and federal projects to improve community services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. She is a Person-Centered Thinking trainer and trained in ToP participatory facilitation methods. She is also a member of the MN Disability Law Center Advisory Committee, WINGS MN, The Learning Community for Person-Centered Practices (TLCPCP), and chairs the Legal Process and Advocacy Network of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). As a Minnesota-licensed attorney with 30 years of experience, her commitment to the civil and human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is grounded in her relationship with her sibling.
Ann E. Motl, Attorney. A product liability associate with Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Ms. Motl leverages her mechanical engineering background in her products liability practice, concentrating on the defense of complex medical devices. Ms. Motl is committed to advancing the profession through leadership and pro bono service, including representing clients in Social Security disability appeals. She founded the Minnesota Disability Bar Association, serving disabled legal professionals, including attorneys, judges, staff, students with disabilities, and nondisabled allies. And she has received numerous awards, including being a Minnesota Lawyer 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Honoree, and was recognized as one of the 2021 Minnesota Lawyer Up & Coming Attorneys.
Rachel A. Wobschall, Ed.D. CFRE. Ms. Wobschall has successfully managed high-performing teams across multiple sectors and is consistently chosen to lead governing boards in nonprofit and public sectors. She brings a proven record of effective executive leadership to her position as the planned and major gift officer at True Friends. Founded in 2013 as a successor to Camp Courage, which was established in 1955, the nonprofit organization provides life-changing experiences that enhance independence and self-esteem for children and adults with disabilities. True Friends programs serve more than 25,000 individuals annually and include camp, respite, retreats, team building, therapy and adaptive riding, and travel. Ms. Wobschall's academic accomplishments include an Ed.D. in Organization Development and Leadership, a Master of International Management, and a B.A. in Political Science, all from the University of St. Thomas. She holds a Certificate of Higher Education Management from Harvard University, is a Certified Fundraising Executive, and is a Policy Fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota Rule 114 Alternative Dispute Resolution Training.
“We are thrilled to have and welcome this extraordinary group of professionals join our Board of Directors,” said Beth Fondell, MCIL Board Chair. “They each bring a demonstrated record of advocacy and action in addressing concerns within the disability community. Their diverse experiences and expertise are unified in a shared commitment to creating a more inclusive world where all people can thrive. We look forward to all they will contribute to our mission and continued service.”
“It is an honor to have this accomplished group of individuals contribute their time and expertise as members of the MCIL Board of Directors,” said Jesse Bethke Gomez, MMA, Executive Director of MCIL. “Their knowledge and insights ideally complement our dedicated Board of Directors and will further strengthen our work. I look forward to the journey ahead and what we can accomplish with their guidance as we continue to advance our mission and independent living with the disability communities MCIL assists.”