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Abbey's Hope airs a powerful new public service announcement to prevent child drownings and encourage active supervision in and around water.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Scott Taylor

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Vice President

Scott Taylor is vice president co-founder and chairman of Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. Scott and his wife, Katey, are parents of four daughters, one of whom is Abbey Taylor. On June 29, 2007, 6-year-old Abbey was disemboweled by a faulty drain in a wading pool. Over the next nine months she would endure 16 surgeries and a triple-organ transplant, before finally losing her battle in March 2008.


Abbey's hope was that what happened to her would never happen to another child. In her name, the Taylors formed Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation in July 2008.


Scott has worked in the financial communications industry for more than 19 years. Currently, he is vice president, sales for the Merrill Corporation. Previously, he worked as a sales executive at R.R. Donnelley. Prior to that, he served as the senior vice president of sales for Bowne & Co. He worked at Merrill in an earlier stint as an account manager and project manager.


Scott attended Minnesota State University at Mankato, studying business marketing and industrial psychology. Scott has volunteered with several local nonprofit charitable organizations, including Children's HeartLink, Child Guidance Program at Washburn Center for Children, and Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. Additionally, he has been very active in local fundraising by attending and donating to several charitable events each year, including Children's Cancer Research Fund, and the Children's Miracle Network among others.

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Katey Taylor

President

Katey Taylor is president and co-founder of the Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. Katey had been a "typical" stay-at-home mom until June 29, 2007. It was on that summer evening that one of her four daughters, 6-year-old Abbey, was disemboweled by a faulty drain in a wading pool. Over the next nine months Abbey would endure 16 surgeries and a triple-organ transplant, before finally losing her battle in March 2008.


Abbey's hope was that what happened to her would never happen to another child. In her name, the Taylors formed Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation in July 2008. To fulfill Abbey's legacy, Katey and her husband, Scott, work to advocate for children and to educate parents, community leaders and others of the dangers in and around pools.


Katey has a Bachelor of Science degree in family education, child protection and public health from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. In December 2008, Katey received her Certified Pool/Spa Operator (CPO) certification from the National Swimming Pool Foundation. She serves on the Advisory Board of Minnesota SafeKids, is a member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and a member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Kim Ess

Treasurer

Kimberly Ess is the Treasurer and a director of the Foundation. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Nilan Johnson Lewis PA., a mid-sized law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more than ten years, Kim has been in charge of the everyday operations of the firm, including the areas of Finance, Human Resources, Information Systems, Marketing, Office Services and Research Systems. She is directly involved in strategic plan development and implementation, short and long-term financial planning, and hiring decisions. Prior to joining Halleland Lewis, Kim was a Certified Public Accountant in the Audit and Small Business Services Departments of Boulay, Heutmaker, Zibell & Co. PLLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Her experience includes rendering interim accounting and tax planning for various sized businesses, providing controllership services on a short-term or transitory basis specializing in general ledger management, internal accounting procedures, payroll, employee benefit plan administration, financial statement preparation and analysis, and coordinating various attestation engagements for non-profit companies.


Kim received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Minnesota State University at Mankato and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She became a licensed CPA in 1993, although her CPA license is currently inactive.

geoff michel

Secretary

Senator Michel is the Secretary and a director of the Foundation. Senator Michel is a former 3-term member of the Minnesota State Senate. Geoff rose to become the chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Committee, Chair of the Subcommittee on Redistricting, Vice Chair of the Taxes Committee represented District 41 (Edina), and a member of the Rules Committee. He is also a Co-Chaired the Early Childhood Caucus and the Cancer Caucus. Geoff is an attorney and currently works for Allianz Life.


In 2006, Senator Michel was the chief author of the Gopher Stadium bill, bringing football back to campus at the University of Minnesota. In 2008, he proudly sponsored the Abigail Taylor Pool Safety Act, requiring stricter standards for pool drains in public pools in order to maximize safety. The pool and spa safety legislation passed that same year with the support of the Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. Senator Michel is also a past board member for the Minnesota Children's Museum and Edina Soccer Club. 


Geoff lives in Edina with his wife, Annie and their four daughters Ellie, Lexie, Olivia, and Cassie.

Andy Olsen

Board Member

Berthel A. Olsen (Andy) is a director of the Foundation. Andy is a cofounder of Carlson Olsen Financial Partners, a financial and investment planning firm. He has been in the financial services industry since 1997, beginning his career with RBC Wealth Management. Prior to 1997, Andy spent three years with Arthur Andersen & Company in the small business consulting division and 14 years with Kimberly Clark Corporation in finance and brand management/marketing. His 25-plus years of diverse business and life experiences give him the ability to look at issues differently, ask the right questions and ultimately provide a well-rounded approach to creating the "right solutions" for clients based upon needs in a given situation.


His philosophy is built around doing the "next right thing" for his clients, acting with independence and integrity always. Andy has earned designations as both a Certified Financial Planner and an Accredited Asset Management Specialist. As a believer in ongoing continued life learning, he has recently begun working on his Certified Management Investment Consultant designation through The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sonja Brown

Board Member

As a Minnesota native; Sonja spent her summers swimming everyday in Lake Minnewashta. All of her time spent in water naturally led her to becoming captain of her high school swim team and member of her college team. During college, she spent many summers teaching water aerobics, swimming lessons and lifeguarding. Enjoying and being safe in water is one of her passions.


Sonja has twenty years working in business development and marketing communications. As a consultant, she works with not-for-profits, start-ups and established businesses helping them identify and implement innovative strategic growth opportunities. As an entrepreneur herself, Sonja currently runs a swimming school for children and adults. She specializes in teaching using a sensory method that helps students with special needs, primarily those with autism, learn to swim. She is very proud of one of her clients who recently qualified for nationals with the Special Olympics.


Sonja is the mother of two sons and two daughters. She lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota with her husband and youngest daughter. During the summer, you will still find her at the lake, either swimming or playing in their 1959 classic wooden boat.

Dr. Erika Malvey-Dorn

Board Member

Dr. Erika Malvey-Dorn is a pediatrician and President of All About Children Pediatrics in Eden Prairie. She is board-certified in pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Erika is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School and enjoys teaching medical students about all aspects of pediatric care. Erika has also been a member of the Help Me Grow organization, working to effectively provide early childhood intervention services for children with developmental delays and chronic medical illnesses. Erika strives to provide the best medical care to all of her patients and their families, and routinely discusses healthy living and safety.      


Erika received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Wellesley College. She then graduated from Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Minnesota, with a Ph.D. in Immunology in 1998 and her M.D. in 2000. She lives in Edina with her husband and three active children.  

Pam Conlow

Board Member

Pam Conlow joined the board of directors in 2015. Pam has worked in the financial communications industry for over 30 years. In December, 2015, she retired as Vice President of Sales from R.R. Donnelley. Prior to that she worked as Senior Vice President of Sales for Bowne of Minnesota and Merrill Corporation. Pam attended The College of St. Catherine’s and the University of Minnesota studying Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counselling. Pam has worked with several non-profit charitable organizations including PaceMake 5000, a non-profit fund-raising organization benefiting Children’s Hospital and Clinic and Children’s Heartlink Foundation on its fund-raising committee. Pam has also been on several mission trips with Healing Haiti Foundation, a non-profit organization ministering to Haitian people. In her retirement, Pam’s focus is on volunteering, serving and giving back.

Mollie Pierce

Board Member

Mollie Pierce joined the board of directors in 2016. Mollie is a firm believer in taking proactive measures to prevent harm in and around the water and spent many years practicing this as a lifeguard and water safety instructor. Though she did not know the Taylor family until after Abbey’s accident, Mollie vividly remembers hearing the story on the news and was determined to find a way to help. Mollie met Scott and Katey Taylor in 2008 and has been involved with Abbey’s Hope ever since. 


Over the years, she has dedicated her time to support the mission of the foundation by participating in numerous safety awareness events around the community, taking to social media to promote Safer Pools. Safer Kids. and has served on the Golf Committee as Volunteer Coordinator. 


Mollie attended the University of Minnesota and received a BA in journalism and a minor in management. She completed the Technology Leadership Program at Target Corporation and spent the remainder of her five years there on a project to replace end-of-life contact center systems with Salesforce Service Cloud. She recently joined an IT consulting firm in Minneapolis and enjoys traveling, playing piano, and spending time with family/friends.

Annelys farrell

Board Member

Annelys Farrell joined the board of directors in 2017. Annelys is the Senior Director of Principal Gifts for the University of Minnesota Foundation, earned her Master of Arts degree in Counseling -Gerontology at Notre Dame de Namur University in California, and launched her career as Program Director at Ralston Village, where she oversaw the delivery of quality care to seniors afflicted with Alzheimer's and dementia. 


Leveraging her passion for serving the needs of the senior community, she subsequently joined forces with the Alzheimer's Association as a Major Gifts Specialist, and advanced through the ranks to become Senior Nationwide Strategic Gifts Director. In that capacity, she built relationships with high-profile donors, provided strategic leadership and personally raised over $35 million in foundation funding. 


Annelys has been recognized throughout her career as an accomplished fundraiser and Abbey’s Hope is thrilled that is she is now willing to use her talents for our organization.  

Brian Maxwell

Board Member

Brian Maxwell attended the University of St. Thomas where received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He has worked in Community Banking for over 20 years and is currently the Market President for Gateway Bank in Edina, MN. 


Within the banking industry, Brian specializes in professional practice, real estate, and Small Business Administration lending. Over his career, Brian has worked with a diverse group of businesses and individuals to help them achieve their financial goals. Whether his clients are starting their first business or buying their first house, his approach is that of an advisor, not just a lender.


In addition to helping people achieve their financial goals, Brian enjoys giving back to the community. At the bank, Brian has helped establish “Gateway Gives”; a program which encapsulates the bank’s volunteering and community events and embodies their community spirit. Associates at Gateway Bank are involved in a number of organizations, including the Edina and Dakota County Chambers, Rotary, VEAP food shelf and meals on wheels. Brian also coaches his children’s sports teams and is on the Board of Directors at Edina Country Club where he serves as Treasurer.

Staff & Volunteers

Alan Korn

Executive Director

Alan Korn is the Executive Director of the Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation where he assists the organization in its management, public policy, marketing and public relations efforts.


Before joining AHCF, he was the Executive Director and general counsel for Safe Kids USA, a member of Safe Kids Worldwide’s global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. While at Safe Kids, he led the over 600 coalitions and chapters in the Safe Kids USA network of child injury prevention advocates. He also directed the public policy agenda at the federal level and guided the coalitions in their state advocacy efforts. In addition, he advised the organization on legal issues such as trademark, copyright, contract and liability.


Alan makes presentations around the country on government’s role in child injury prevention and liability issues associated with community-based safety programs. He has testified many times before Congress, federal agencies and state legislatures on issues of injury prevention and has appeared as a child safety expert on the Today Show, Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show and NPR as well as in dozens of magazines and newspapers.


Alan is an attorney and a member of the Missouri and District of Columbia Bar. Prior to his work for non-profits in both Washington, DC and Minneapolis, MN, he practiced law for five years in St. Louis, MO, specializing in health law, consumer protection and litigation. Alan received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his J.D. from the Washington University School of Law. He is married, has one child and resides in Washington, D.C.

Sam Carlous

Program Manager

Sam Carolus is the Program Manager for the Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation where she assists in the day to day operations of the organization. Sam has enjoyed working in the non-profit sector in Minnesota. Before joining AHCF, Sam was the Minnesota Public Affairs Manager for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and part of a coalition that worked with the Minnesota legislature to pass legislation banning the toxic chemical BPA from all children's sippy cups and bottles. Sam has also worked with the YMCA of Minneapolis and Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.


As a new mother, Sam in honored to be working for an organization focused on child safety. She is a graduate of Indiana University.

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