Steering Committee

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The Steering Committee is dedicated to advancing the Vision of the Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research

To accelerate the pace of human-oriented autoimmune diseases research through support for patient sample and clinical data collection, and the application of advanced analytic and immune-modulating technologies.

Committee members bring their own unique personal background and experience to CADRe and dedicate their time, influence, and philanthropy to achieving the goals of this organization. The committee also provides leadership to the Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases regarding priorities, progress, prospects, and strategy for achieving our goals.

Committee Members

CADRE Steering Comitee

Bud Baechler

Bud Baechler

As a business advisor, facilitator, coach and guide, Bud Baechler specializes in business planning, development of the leadership team, strategic marketing, and internal and external communications. Bud has practiced executive and leadership facilitation with for-profit, non-profit, privately held and public organizations for more than fifteen years. Several of these organizations are multi-cultural and have an international presence. His focus is on helping organizations grow through the design and implementation of strategic planning, best practices, marketing for results, advancement of business culture and operations overall, and measureable improvements in revenue and profit. Bud is an accomplished, outcomes-based writer who authors executive speeches, press releases and internal communications. Additionally, Bud is a voice-over talent for TV, Radio, and corporate videos.
Bud's interests include family, fishing and boating, hiking, biking, major league sports, amateur radio, computers and gardening. Bud is the founder or co-founder of several businesses, and is involved in community service. Bud is married to Becky, has four daughters and resides in Minneapolis and Winona, MN.

Shannon Carey

Shannon Carey

Shannon Carey is a civil trial lawyer at SiebenCarey representing individuals and families, who have been injured, in complex litigations. Since 2012, Shannon has been named a Rising Star in a survey by Super Lawyers Magazine. The publication asks Minnesota's top lawyers to identify an elite group of emerging lawyers, either under 40 years old or in practice less than 10 years, who have demonstrated the highest standards of excellence. Prior to becoming an attorney, Shannon worked in human resources at several large corporations throughout the Twin Cities.

Shannon is also involved in many community activities outside her legal practice, including work as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School and a Board Member for the Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project that is responsible for educating advocates throughout the state on the legal rights of battered women.

Shannon joined the Autoimmune Arthritis Center's Steering Committee in an effort to help highlight the tireless efforts of the dedicated team who treat those who live with autoimmune disorders and research these diseases to help improve their patient's quality of life. Shannon's journey with autoimmune disorders is personal; she has been a patient at the U of M Autoimmune Arthritis Center since 2007 when she was diagnosed with Scleroderma. Shannon hopes to build public awareness about the need for continuous research funding surrounding autoimmune disorders and the impact the research can have on patients and their families.

Kathy Hodges

Kathy Hodges

Kathy graduated from Minneapolis Community College in 1978 obtaining an associate degree in nursing and in 2006 graduated from Bethel University in June of 2006 with her BSN.

She has been a registered nurse for 36 years in obstetrics, labor and delivery, research in islet transplant at the University of MN, Blood and Marrow transplant, and most recently in cardiology.

She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of two and started giving her own insulin since she was nine years old. In 2011, she became a 50 year Medalist from Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

She has been fundraising to find the cure for Type 1 Diabetes with a goal is to raise money to cure Type 1 Diabetes in her lifetime and not to award future 50 year Medals to those with Type 1 Diabetics. 

Warren Watson

Warren Watson

Mr. Watson is a medical device executive with over 35 years of med tech experience. Mr. Watson's career began with Medtronic, Inc. where he served in capacities of increasing responsibility over greater than 30 year tenure. Mr. Watson focused in the Cardiac Rhythm Management, Cardiac Ablation, Heart Failure and Cardiology fields including positions in technical management, clinical and regulatory responsibilities, business development, strategic and marketing responsibilities, and general management. Mr. Watson served as VP of Research and Development for the Cardiac Rhythm Management business for over 8 years and was Chair of the Medtronic Corporate Research and Development Council. Mr. Watson retired from Medtronic with 33 years of service to the Company.
Following his retirement from Medtronic, Mr. Watson has served on multiple medical device, non-med tech and charitable organization boards:
Mr. Watson served as the Executive Chair of the Board of Directors for Cameron Health, Inc. Cameron Health is a California based medical device company developing a subcutaneous implantable defibrillator for patients at risk of sudden cardiac death. Cameron Health was acquired by Boston Scientific, Inc. in June, 2012.
Mr. Watson serves on the Board of Directors for Sunshine Heart, Inc. Sunshine Heart is a medical device company committed to the commercialization of the C-Pulse system, an implantable non-blood contact heart assist therapy for the treatment of moderate to severe heart failure.
Mr. Watson serves on the Board of Directors for NuAx, Inc. NuAx is a Minneapolis based early stage medical device company focused on development of innovative technology for metalized fiber optic cables.
Mr. Watson serves on the Board of Directors for Cardialen, Inc. Cardialen is a Minneapolis based early stage medical device company developing unique, non-ablative technology for the termination of atrial fibrillation.
Mr. Watson also serves as an Advisor to the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Minnesota. He works closely with the Venture Center where he focuses on the launch of new medical device companies based on U of MN Innovation.
Mr. Watson is the Chair of Board of Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, MN. Gillette Children's is a hospital system treating children with rare and disabling medical conditions.
Mr. Watson served on the Board of Directors of Citizen's Independent Bank of St. Louis Park, Minnesota from June 1980 until December 2013. Citizen's Independent Bank is a community based bank serving customers across the Twin Cities with four branch offices and over $300M in assets.
Mr. Watson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering. He resides in New Brighton, MN.

Rhonda Wolfe

Rhonda Wolfe

Rhonda Wolfe is a nurse practitioner with MinuteClinic in the Twin Cities. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the College of St. Mary, Omaha, Nebraska, and earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Rhonda is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a secondary Gerontological Nurse Practitioner certification through the American Nursing Credentialing Center. She is also a Certified Asthma Educator, and a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the Minnesota Nurse Practitioners. Rhonda has special interests in respiratory health, infectious disease and autoimmune disease.