Twin Cities Signature Event Speaker Bios

December 5, 2013

Karen Bohn, President of Galeo Group LLC

Karen Bohn is the president of Galeo Group LLC, a management consulting practice in Minneapolis, MN.  Galeo Group provides strategic management resources to CEOs, boards of directors, and senior management teams in the areas of governance, strategy, and leadership support, and also provides interim executive services.  Galeo Group’s clients include both public and private firms, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 1998, Ms. Bohn was an executive at Piper Jaffray Companies, having served in a variety of positions over nearly 22 years including investment banker, chief administrative officer, chief executive officer of Piper Trust Company, and president of Piper Jaffray Companies Foundation.  She was the first woman to serve on the firm’s management committee, and the first woman to serve on its board of directors.

Ms. Bohn serves on several corporate boards, including Alerus Financial Corporation, Ameriprise Certificate Company (which board she chairs), and Otter Tail Corporation.  In October 2011, she was named one of the five Outstanding Directors of the Year in the Twin Cities.

An avid volunteer from the time she was a child, Ms. Bohn serves on the board of Friends of Ngong Road, which provides education and support to AIDS orphans in the Dagoretti slums of Nairobi, and brings her to Kenya once each year.  In addition, she has served on and chaired the boards of numerous other nonprofits, and remains an active volunteer with the Tony Award winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis.  In recognition of her work with more than 20 nonprofit organizations, Ms. Bohn was inducted in to the Minneapolis St. Paul magazine’s Volunteer Hall of Fame, and has received numerous other awards for her philanthropic efforts.

Ms. Bohn is a native of Grand Forks, ND.  She and her husband, Gary Surdel, reside in Edina, MN and have two sons – Peter (30) a lawyer in Chicago, and Matthew (25), a medical student at Vanderbilt University Medical School.


Leslie Frecon, Chairman & CEO of LFE Capital

Leslie Frecon is the founder and CEO of LFE Capital, an investment management firm that provides growth capital to companies located primarily in the Midwest and Florida. LFE Capital invests in consumer and business service companies with revenues of $5 to $50 million, with a focus on health and wellness.

Prior to founding LFE Capital, Leslie was senior vice president, corporate finance, for General Mills, a global consumer foods company. In that position she was responsible for the corporate growth and treasury functions and, as a member of the senior executive team, was active in setting the strategic direction of the company. In her over 16 years at General Mills, she held management positions in operations and corporate finance, and completed numerous acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures and spin-offs. Prior to joining General Mills, Leslie was a commercial loan officer with Bank of America in Los Angeles, where she managed the banking relationships for companies in manufacturing and agribusiness.

Leslie serves on corporate and community non-profit boards. She was a director for 13 years and former audit committee chair for The Ryland Group, NYSE, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders. She also serves as a director for numerous LFE Capital portfolio companies. Leslie’s non-profit board positions have included serving as a trustee and executive committee member of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the MacPhail Center for Music, Breck School and the Minnesota Opera. She serves on the advisory boards of WomenVenture and Enterprising Women Magazine. She is a member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable.

Leslie speaks regularly at business conferences and authors articles about women in business. She has been featured in such publications as: the New York Times, Enterprising Women, The Business Journal and the Minneapolis StarTribune. She has received numerous awards, including “Director of the Year” from Women on Boards and “Outstanding Director” from Twin Cities Business. She was profiled in the book Outstanding in Their Field – How Women Corporate Directors Succeed, and in the November 2008 issue of Directors&Boards. Leslie holds an MBA in Finance from UCLA and a BA with Distinction from Stanford University. She is married and has two children.


Cheri Beranek, President & CEO of Clearfield, Inc

Cheri Beranek, the President and CEO of Clearfield, Inc., is a founding member of the company. She is considered a visionary in the telecommunications networking industry, and has extensive leadership experience in the field of emerging high-tech growth companies.

In July 2003, she joined APA Enterprises as President of its subsidiary APA Cables & Networks. In June 2007, she was appointed President and CEO. Previously, Ms. Beranek served as President of Americable, for which she had previously been its Chief Operating Officer.

Throughout her career, Ms. Beranek has held a variety of leadership positions with emerging high-growth technology companies, including Transition Networks, Tricord Systems; and Digi International. She also has extensive non-profit experience including: the City of Fargo, the Metropolitan Planning Commission of Fargo/Moorhead, and North Dakota State University (NDSU).

Ms. Beranek has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2012 Women in Wireline from Fierce Telecom, 2012 regional finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Stevie Awards for Business in 2011 as a finalist for Best Executive for non-services businesses and the 2009 Turn-Around of the Year, as well as the Twin Cities Business Journal’s Industry Leader Award in 2009 and Women to Watch award in 2004.


Ann Senn, Global Chief Strategy Officer for DTTL

Ann Senn is the global Chief Strategy Officer for DTTL. She has been a Deloitte U.S. consulting partner since 1994, broadly experienced in business strategy, organizational change, and technology-enabled operations. In addition to her chief strategy officer role, Ann serves on the Deloitte Consulting LLP Board of Directors. Prior to working with DTTL, Ann was the chief strategy officer for US Consulting and, previous to that, was the global leader of Deloitte’s IT Strategy and Management services.

In her more than 20 years with Deloitte, Ann has been privileged to work with many large, highly-respected organizations on significant strategy and operations change programs. She currently serves as the Deloitte LCSP on Target and as an advisory partner on a number of clients including Thrivent, Ecolab, and General Mills.