Our Board of Directors provides the direction and oversight needed to ensure the continued growth and success of Camp Odayin and our mission, while maintaining the fiduciary and governance oversight to protect the interest of our donors.
Camp Odayin is a wonderful, well-run organization. It is amazing to meet children who have attended a camp or hear from parents whose lives have been affected by Camp Odayin’s work. Camp Odayin provides a place for kids with heart disease to be themselves and connect with others to have great experiences and form life-long friendships.– Former Board Member, Matt Graham
Phil is the Chief Operating Officer, Inspire Medical Systems and was formerly the CTO, St. Jude Medical (Abbott), and at Boston Scientific. I was a proud member of the Boston Scientific team for 13 years in various engineering roles within R&D, Operations, Quality, and Program Management. VP – R&D role at St. Jude Medical, &Technology Officer, where I served as a member of the SJM Executive Committee at the time of the $30B sale to Abbott Laboratories. I stayed at Abbott in the same capacity to assist with the integration of the medical device businesses. I joined Inspire Medical as its’ first ever COO in June 2020. Education: University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas, Harvard University. I am, first and foremost, a husband to my lovely wife Jennifer – for 32 blessed years. A proud father of four great kids (William, 23; Emma, 22; PJ, 19, John, 17). We are likely the tallest family you will ever meet. I am 6’6″ tall and I am in the middle of the pack for my clan. Philanthropy is central to our family values. I have been blessed to be part of so many great organizations locally and am proud to count Camp Odayin amongst that group. Our family supports those we partner with together – with our collective time, talent, and treasure. I look forward to doing so as a formal member of this great board of directors.
Jaymie Gruis, Treasurer
Jaymie has a passion for serving patients by working for companies in the healthcare and medical device space. He is currently the Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at Abbott. Prior to Abbott’s acquisition of Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI) Jaymie spent 10 years at CSI in various finance roles, most recently as the Sr. Director of Financial Planning & Analysis. Prior to CSI Jaymie spent 12 years at Medtronic working primarily in Corporate Finance and the Neuromodulation division. He first learned of Camp Odayin while working at CSI and playing in the Whole Heart Golf Tournament, and he was touched by the inspirational stories of the campers and their families. Jaymie is a graduate of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA, and he is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA program at the Opus College of Business (St. Thomas). Jaymie lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, son, and identical twin daughters. When not at work, school, or his daughter’s volleyball matches, Jayme enjoys exercising, golfing, and traveling.
Vicky Hidalgo, Vice Chair
Vicky is the head of early in career talent at Nordstrom. She and her team provide strategic guidance to all business units, serving as a trusted consultant to diversify the talent pipeline through early talent acquisition and development programs. Vicky is a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion who believes in the importance of promoting self-reflection, active learning, and actionable commitments to create positive change. She has been involved with Camp Odayin since 2008 and has enjoyed every minute of it from lifeguarding during waterfront and dressing up in costumes for evening activities to emceeing fundraisers and contributing insights as a board member. Vicky holds a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a master’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her wife, Abby, and playing peek-a-boo with her twin toddlers, Rio and Remy.
Andrew is a healthcare attorney at the Fredrikson & Byron law firm in Minneapolis where he works with physicians, dentists and other healthcare professionals on mergers and acquisitions and compliance with healthcare regulations. He’s a former collegiate tennis player and previously served for 6 years on the board of directors of USTA Northern, which is the nonprofit responsible for United States Tennis Association activities in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Western Wisconsin. Andrew and his wife, Rachel, live in Wayzata with their 5-year-old son, Henry, and 17-month-old daughter, Ellie. Camp Odayin’s mission is incredibly important to Andrew as the parent of a heart warrior (Ellie), and he’s excited to join such a talented board and support a wonderful organization.
Dr. Jonathan Johnson
Dr. Johnson is a pediatric cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where he is the Chair of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology and the Medical Director of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Program. Jon is a native of Wisconsin, receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin before heading to Detroit, Michigan for medical school. He came to Mayo for his pediatric residency in 2005 and never left, finishing his pediatric cardiology training there and joining the staff in 2011. He volunteered at Camp Odayin as a pediatric cardiology fellow, is thrilled to have been able to return as an attending doc, and is now ecstatic to be joining the Board of Directors. In his free time, Jon enjoys traveling, writing, and spending time with his wife Alissa and two wonderful kids.
Dr. Brian Joy
Brian is the medical director of the CVICU at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital where he works as both a pediatric intensivist and pediatric cardiologist. Brian received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota. After completing his residency at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, he completed his fellowship training at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in both pediatric cardiology and pediatric critical care medicine. He took his first job at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH before coming back here in 2016 to the University of Minnesota. In his free time, Brian enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and three boys. Brian has volunteered at Camp Odayin as a camp doc for multiple years and is excited to be joining the Board of Directors.
Sara is the Executive Director and founder of Camp Odayin, a lifelong camper, and a heart patient herself. She has worked and volunteered at many camps and holds undergraduate degrees in Social Work & Communication from Concordia College, Moorhead MN, and a graduate degree in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota. Sara is very familiar with the cardiac care world. She has had a catheter ablation to correct her supraventricular tachycardia, and had an Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) as a result of ventricular tachycardia. She believes in the positive impact summer camp can have on everyone, especially children with special heath concerns.
Charlie is a born and raised Minnesotan and Camp Odayin lover. He is currently attending the University of Minnesota with a degree in Business and Marketing and minor in Psychology and Sustainability. Charlie grew up attending Camp Odayin as a camper for eight years and spent three summers working at Camp Knutson, the site MN Residential camp. He loves working with people of all abilities, works as a Personal Care Assistant, and is a part of the Special Olympics club at the University of Minnesota. Charlie loves Camp Odayin for the opportunities and community it provides for kids with congenital heart defects and disease. Charlie was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) and had an open-heart surgery at four days old. As a former camper, Charlie has great memories of meeting friends, having fun experiences, and growing up with the Odayin family. In his free time, Charlie enjoys spending time with his friends, skiing, biking, and playing board games of all varieties.
Katelyn is the General Manager of AI & Partnerships for GE HealthCare’s General Imaging Ultrasound Business ($1.2B P&L) in Milwaukee. Previously, she was the Mobile X-ray & AI General Manager ($130M P&L). Under her leadership, GE X-ray received the industry’s 1st FDA clearance for an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm embedded within a radiology imaging device to triage critical findings and her product line climbed to the number one global market share position. Previously, she worked as a Clinical Research Manager and as a Systems Engineer for CT systems. Katelyn is a graduate of GEHC’s Edison Engineering Development Program, with a background in electrical and audio engineering. Katelyn survived sudden cardiac arrest as a high school athlete and has since lived with an ICD/CRT-D device for the last 20 years. Her bi-ventricular arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy has given her deep patient insight to firsthand experience of repetitive ventricular arrhythmias and cardioversions, heart block and a-fib, ablation/cath/denervation procedures, and cardiac related PTSD. She is a patient advocate and prior volunteer at Camp Odayin. She lives in Milwaukee, Wi with her wife and their four children.
Leah Saarela, Chair
Leah is the HR Shared Services Director of Global Compensation at Medtronic. Leah has been at Medtronic for over 16 years and has held a number of positions at both the business level, supporting Cardiac Rhythm Management, and the corporate level. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management with a Corporate Finance degree and has an MBA from Capella University. She is also the mother to an amazing daughter who is a Camp Odayin camper. She is honored to serve on the board of Camp Odayin to be part of an organization that provides campers and families care and support along their journey with heart disease.
Dr. Andy Schneider
Andy Schneider, MD is a native of Minneapolis and loves all things Minnesota. He earned his medical degree at Loyola University of Chicago, completed his training in pediatrics and cardiology at Mayo Clinic, followed by advanced training in pediatric heart rhythm disorders at Texas Children’s Hospital. He was fortunate to land a job in his hometown at The Children’s Heart Clinic, affiliated with Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, serving children with complex congenital heart disease and heart rhythm disorders. Andy was first introduced to Camp Odayin during pediatric cardiology fellowship, having served as a physician volunteer during residential summer camps and family camp. He and his family were able to see firsthand the powerful impact Camp Odayin has on the mental and physical well-being of children with various forms of heart disease. The impact that Camp Odayin has on Andy’s patients cannot be overstated, and Andy is proud to have the opportunity to serve Camp Odayin in this advanced capacity.
Michael is a Senior Institutional Advisor with First Midwest Bank in Chicago where he provides fiduciary and investment management solutions to institutional investors in the Midwest including privately owned middle market companies, non-profit organizations and public pension funds. Michael earned an M.B.A. with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife and two sons, volunteering, and playing golf.
Dr. Shweta Stuart
Shweta is a parent to a heart warrior and a general pediatrician. Shortly after their son’s second open heart surgery, Shweta and her husband Michael, became actively involved with The Children’s Heart Foundation. With the CHF, she has successfully co-chaired black-tie galas and heart walks, and been involved with several other events to raise awareness around congenital heart defects. In the pre-COVID era, she was also an active volunteer at her kids’ school. Shweta received her medical degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago and completed her residency training at Rush University. After that, she worked in a private pediatric practice for 5 years, before transitioning roles to become a Pediatric Hospitalist. Shweta often jokes that this role has given her the opportunity to be both a full time mom and a full time pediatrician! She resides in Chicago with her husband Michael and their two sons, Noah and Caden. In her free time, Shweta enjoys exercising, baking, traveling, and watching sports.
Tanya is the Director of Finance for Boston Scientific’s Cardiac Rhythm Management and Diagnostics Division. Tanya has been with BSC for over 15 years holding various roles in Finance supporting strategic planning, investment valuations, acquisitions, & manufacturing, and a few years within R&D supporting portfolio and project management. She has been an active member of the Women’s Network for over 10 years between the MN global and more recently at the Global level. She currently is the Co-Lead for the Global Women’s Network employee resource group. Tanya has a BS in Accounting from MN State University, Mankato and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She lives with her husband and 10 year old boy/girl twins. She enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors in the summer gardening & biking, and playing volleyball and golf. Tanya is a current supporter and participator within the Epilepsy Foundation of MN, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Alador Yemaneab, Secretary
Alador is a Senior Solution Consultant at software company ServiceNow but has an extensive clinical history working for a local healthcare organization for over 17 years as a Pharmacy Technician and then moving into the IT world as a Senior Epic Analyst. He has been volunteering at summer, winter, family, and day camp for over 16 years. Most recently he has become an active member on the events committee helping plan Happy Hearts Happy Hour. He is always able to connect with campers of all ages, being a kid at heart himself and able to create lifelong family connections. Everyone often remembers him for his outgoing, fun-loving spirit or one of his crazy costumes.