Foundation board of directors

bariteau stephen

Stephen Bariteau is executive director of the Penny George Institute Foundation and vice president of Allina Health philanthropy. He is a dedicated nonprofit fundraiser with 25 years of experience. Prior to joining what is now the Courage Kenny Foundation in 2011, Bariteau was vice president for development at Riley Children’s Foundation in Indianapolis, Ind. He also served as a senior associate at Bentz Whaley Flessner in Minneapolis and as vice president for University Advancement at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn. Bariteau holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y.

jennifer blair

Jennifer Blair, LAc, MaOM, licensed acupuncturist, is an integrative, holistic provider with clinical specialties in acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary therapy and integrative health coaching. She is a licensed acupuncturist with a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine. In addition to her work at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Blair serves on the adjunct faculty at the Minnesota College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Northwestern Health Services University. She is an active member of the holistic community and is the first acupuncturist to serve on the board of the American Holistic Medical Association, a physician led, national organization that provides a forum for holistically minded doctors and other healers to come together for support, education, retreats and to create a platform for integrating holistic practices into mainstream medicine.

george penny

Penny Pilgram George, PsyD, is president of the George Family Foundation in Minneapolis and a leader in the national movement to transform medicine and health care through the principles and practices of integrative medicine. She co-founded the Penny George Institute and The Bravewell Collaborative, a national collaboration of philanthropists dedicated to advancing the principles and practice of integrative medicine. In addition, she cofounded Sellergren-George Consulting Psychologists, where she specialized for more than 20 years in helping senior executives select for and build high-performing teams. George received her bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University, her master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota, and her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

gerasimo pilar bio

Pilar Gerasimo is founding editor of Experience Life, an award-winning magazine dedicated to helping its 3 million readers live their healthiest, happiest, most authentic lives. She also serves as senior vice president of Healthy Living for Life Time Fitness and briefly served as Huffington Post’s executive editor of healthy living. Pilar’s passion is integrating and sharing the best tools and wisdom she has discovered over the course of her career as a journalist and advocate for healthy change. Pilar appears regularly on radio and TV, and enjoys teaching at retreat centers like Omega Institute and Rancho La Puerta.

goodrich megan

Megan Goodrich is a community member who has volunteered in the Sports & Recreation program and has a passion for integrative health. Goodrich has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. She was a credit manager for several years prior to going back to school to get her master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband, Dan, taught at the Thai-Chinese International School in Bangkok for two years. She has served on the Steering Committee for the Jeremiah Bullfrog Bash, and is involved with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

niswanger lindsey

Lindsey Niswanger is director of program development and administration for the Penny George Institute. In this role, she oversees the operational, strategic and financial performance for the Penny George Institute clinical service line of Allina Health, including outpatient and inpatient integrative health services, healthy lifestyle programming, learning and development activities, and community outreach efforts. Niswanger started her career at Allina Health as the administrative fellow at Minneapolis Heart Institute® and Abbott Northwestern Hospital. She has a master’s degree in health care administration and public health from the University of Minnesota, and an undergraduate degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.


Gayle Ober, MANP, is the president of the George Family Foundation where she is responsible for managing all aspects of the grant making process, advising and assisting the trustees in meeting their grant making goals and serving as the Foundation’s first point of contact to the community. Ober also serves as an instructor in the University of Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Leadership program (College of Continuing Education), and speaks at instructional engagements, seminars and meetings. Prior to working for the George Family Foundation, Ober was the managing director of Classical Music Programming for American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio (APM/MPR). Ober holds a master’s degree in non-profit management from Hamline University and a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Minnesota.

maureen pelton

Maureen Pelton, MSSW, has more than 26 years of professional experience that includes practicing integrative psychotherapy, coaching, consulting with more than 150 organizations, training health care professionals and facilitating workshops. She created the HeartSight Program, is the host of the Learning Well Talk Radio Show and teaches courses at the Integrative Health Education Center at Normandale Community College. Pelton has created curriculum and taught at the University of Minnesota through the Center for Spirituality and Healing. She holds a master’s degree in social work.


Elizabeth Perlich Sweeney, retired as president of Children’s HeartLink, an international non-governmental organization providing medical training in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Ukraine and Vietnam. She joined Children's HeartLink as president in December 2002 and continues to serve on its board of directors. She has nearly 25 years of experience supporting children’s health. Following her daughter’s early diagnosis of phenylketonuria (PKU) in 1989, she helped found the Minnesota PKU Foundation which supports children and families living with PKU. She continues to serve on its board of directors. Through this experience, she became involved with the University Pediatric Foundation, University of Minnesota and served on its board of directors for five years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota School of Business.