Faculty Director

Jeannine Kessler head shot

Jeannine Kessler

MBA with a finance focus from University of St. Thomas; BA, organizational management and communication, Concordia University

Ms. Kessler provides leadership for applied business undergraduate courses, which support the College's undergraduate majors and serve students from across the campus and the wider community.  She also manages faculty recruitment and curriculum development for new graduate-level applied business courses. Recently she served as assistant provost at Hamline University. Prior to that, she was a faculty member and associate dean of the College of Business and Organizational Leadership at Concordia University. She has led programs and operations in corporate and academic environments in the areas of finance, human resources, and long-range planning and project management. She is currently working on a DBA in human resources.

  • ABUS 3051 – Career Search for the Professional Environment


William Bengston

William Bengtson

EdD, leadership, University of St. Thomas; MA, leadership, Augsburg University; BA, computer science/business administration, Minnesota State University, Mankato 

Dr. William Bengtson is a corporate leadership consultant with over 30 years of experience in business and technology, having served over 20 Fortune 500 corporations and governmental entities. His expertise includes strategic assessment, project recovery and turnaround, change leadership, and program/project management. He is currently president and leadership consultant at the Minnesota Leadership Institute, which he founded. Dr. Bengtson previously served as chief operating officer of the Minnesota Security Board, director of financial systems at UnitedHealth Group, and senior manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has spoken nationally on a variety of topics and retains certifications as PMP and Agile ScrumMaster.

  • ABUS 4043 − Project Management in Practice
Richard Brynteson head shot

Richard Brynteson

PhD, education, University of Minnesota; MBA, marketing and finance, University of Chicago; BA, English, Dartmouth College

Dr. Richard Brynteson is a teacher, executive coach, innovation consultant, author, and public speaker. He has been a professor in the MBA program at Concordia University since 1992. He is a prolific presenter of workshops and seminars and has published six books on business subjects like innovation, decision making, and behavioral economics. Dr. Brynteson has also been a marketing manager and has worked with companies on innovation projects in Africa, Asia, and the United States, including one year as a Fulbright Scholar in Mauritius. He has had to bribe his way out of jail only once.

  • ABUS 4518 - Leadership and Innovative Decision Making in Applied Business
Head shot of Steven Comingdeer

Steven Comingdeer

MA, management, health care administration, and HR management, and BA, business management, health care informatics, and information management, computer science, and information systems, College of Saint Scholastica

Steven Comingdeer is global director for HR reporting and analytics at Accenture, where he leads a team of 120, providing reporting, advanced analytics and modeling, consultative insights, and decision support. He has previously been chief of staff to Accenture’s North American health practice director, operations director for a national managed-care organization, business office director for a rehabilitation company, program manager for a large physician and hospital quality program, and clinic manager for a local integrated physician group. He has taught online since 2009 in the areas of health care marketing, operations, information management, economics, law and policy, and ethics.

  • ABUS 4104 − Management and Human Resource Practices
  • HSM 4596 − Health Services Management Internship
Michael Essien

Michael Essien

JD, William Mitchell College of Law; BS, chemical engineering, University of Oklahoma

Mr. Essien is the principal at Essien Law Office, PLLC, whose practice areas are intellectual property, business and corporate law, and international law. He is about to complete a PhD in organizational leadership and is interested in how leadership styles affect performance and creativity. He has taught online courses in business
law, legal environment of business, and business ethics at Strayer and Concordia universities and currently teaches legal environment of business at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He is president of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL).

  • ABUS 4013W − Legal, Ethical, and Risk Issues for Managers
Gordon Flanders Photo

Gordon Flanders

DBA, University of Phoenix; MBA, Carlson School of Management; BA, Augsburg College

Gordon Flanders teaches courses in marketing, market research, international business, consumer behavior, strategic management, advanced management seminar, critical thinking and decision making, selling and sales management, and macroeconomics. He is a tenured assistant professor of business and winner of a Merit Award for excellence in teaching, service, and research at Montana Tech of the University of Montana. Before working in academia, Dr. Flanders spent 20 years at 3M/Imation, where he earned the Circle of Technical Excellence Award and three Golden Step Awards for successful new product launches. The new products he launched have also won industry-specific awards for innovation and a US government environmental award.

  • ABUS 4101 − Accounting and Finance for Managers
  • ABUS 4151 − Innovation for Leaders and Organizations
  • ABUS 4509 − New Product Development
David Franke Photo

David Franke

BLA (Bachelor of Landscape Architecture), University of Minnesota


David Franke has worked in various project, construction, real estate, and facilities management roles throughout his career. Since April of 2017, he has been working in the Hennepin County Facilities Services group overseeing capital projects. He spent 11 years as project tenant services director at Xcel Energy, 7 years as director of design at UnitedHealth Group, and 21 years at various positions in the facilities group at 3M/Imation.

  • ABUS 4213 – Fundamentals of Facility Management
Uriah Giordana

Uriah Giordana

MBA, University of Phoenix; BBA, management, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Uriah has held consulting, leadership, and management roles inside software, telecommunications, and solar energy industries since 2005. In 2012, he cofounded SKYWISE Communications, a local business specializing in residential and commercial internet and TV. Uriah currently works at Capitalize Consulting helping finance and accounting clients implement software to automate cumbersome processes. His areas of expertise are motivating and coaching high-performance teams, managing strategic partnerships, and leading go-to-market strategy. Uriah values flexible routines, careful prioritization, and carving time for life’s most important milestones.

  • ABUS 3052 – Career Building in the Remote Gig Economy
  • ABUS 4104 – Management and Human Resources Practices
  • ABUS 4151 – Innovation for Leaders and Organizations
Bradley Goodell headshot

Bradley Goodell

PhD, industrial/organizational psychology; MBA, St. Mary’s University; BA, psychology, Hamline University; Certificates in strategic and executive HR leadership and in data analytics, Cornell University.

Dr. Bradley Goodell is an organizational development psychologist. He is the owner of BDG Strategic Consulting, LLC, which provides expert consulting services in the areas of strategic planning, leadership coaching and development, team-building, and organizational structure assessment.

  • ABUS 4022W – Management in Organizations
  • ABUS 4023W – Communicating for Results
Phillip Hampton head shot

Phillip Hampton

BA, economics, Clark Atlanta University; MA, international management with a concentration in finance, University of St. Thomas

Mr. Hampton is the owner/CEO of a real estate acquisition and investment firm. Before that he worked in investment banking, commodities, traditional banking, and the credit card industry. His employers have included Metris Companies, U.S. Bancorp, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, and Piper Jaffray. Throughout his career, he has worked tirelessly on initiatives to unlock the potential of individuals in diverse workplaces. Mr. Hampton has extensive teaching experience at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He currently teaches business, finance, and economics at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Concordia University, where he is finance chair.

  • ABUS 4545 – Defying Racial Bias in the Workplace: Individual Action and Accountability
Tonya Hampton

Tonya Hampton

BA, political science/pre-law, Clark Atlanta University; MBA, human resource management, and EdD, organization development, University of St. Thomas

Dr. Hampton has over 25 years of experience in strategy development, organization and leadership development, change management, talent management and acquisition, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, training and learning development, performance management, total rewards and recognition, employee relations, project management and planning, process redesign and implementation, HR outsourcing, business acquisitions, and reorganizations. Tonya has spent the last decade designing and executing critical human resources practices, culture changes, organizational effectiveness, and diversity and inclusion in the healthcare industry. She is an adjunct professor at St. Catherine University and St. Thomas University, teaching in the master’s programs for leadership and organization development.

  • ABUS 4104 – Management and Human Resources Practices
Garth Hickle photo

Garth Hickle

PhD, Industrial Ecology and Sustainability, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; MSEL (Master of Studies in Environmental Law), Vermont Law School; MA, public administration, Hamline University; BA, history, College of Wooster

Garth Hickle is an independent environmental consultant with an emphasis on the circular economy and product stewardship. He led the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency product stewardship program for 15 years and served as the MPCA technical lead on product stewardship at the legislature. He was lead author of the Minnesota solid waste policy report and contributed to the pollution prevention evaluation report. He represented MPCA in international and national initiatives and symposia on product stewardship, recycling policy, and sustainable materials management. Dr. Hickle is also a senior lecturer in bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the University of Minnesota.

  • ABUS 4515 − Strategy and Management for a Sustainable Future
David Husom head shot

David Husom

MFA, photography and film, art history; BFA, photography and film, University of Minnesota

David Husom has taught photography, media design, health journalism, digital media, and web design at the University of Minnesota and other colleges for many years. He has also been an OIT Technology Fellow, researching digital media in journalism and technology in the classroom, and he has been a commercial photographer in advertising, marketing, and media. His photos have been exhibited widely, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, San Francisco Museum of Fine Art, the Weisman Art Museum, and the Minnesota Historical Society. With his wife, David owns a printing company doing limited edition digital printing for artists, photographers, and museums.

  • ABUS 3201 – Digital Design Strategies for Small Business
David Kaiser Photo

David Kaiser

MALS, interdisciplinary studies, Hamline University; MBA, organizational behavior, Mankato State University

David Kaiser's academic interests and consulting practices coincide in the areas of leadership, ethics, and organizational behavior. He has developed and taught numerous university courses about management. David has held both line and staff management positions in industry; consulted and conducted seminars with companies throughout the United States and Europe; and received three professor of the year awards. David's educational philosophy is grounded in mindful inquiry and critical reflection rather than reaction and judgment. Whether in the classroom or in the boardroom, he strives to provoke interdisciplinary ways of thinking about organizational issues and opportunities.

  • ABUS 4041 – Dynamics of Leadership
Geoff Kaufmann

Geoff Kaufmann

"I'm inspired by anyone who battles physical or mental challenges."

MA, health policy and management, University of Chicago; BA, biology, St. Olaf College

Geoff Kaufmann, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, is vice president for patient services of the Biomedical Division of the American Red Cross. He is the former director of planning and marketing for the University of Minnesota Hospital and the Minnesota Regent for the American College of Healthcare Executives. A nationally recognized authority in health marketing, Geoff has 45 years of experience in business development, strategic planning, marketing, new product development, and operations. His focuses have included physician-clinic-hospital networks, clinical and service outcomes, senior health care services, a wound care business, and diagnostic imaging centers.

  • ABUS 4501 – Building and Running a Small Business Enterprise
  • ABUS 4701 – Introduction to Marketing
  • ABUS 4703 – Marketing for the Professional Practice
  • HSM 4861 – Leadership and Business Planning in Health Care: Capstone
Carol Klempka

Carol Klempka

MA in leadership and BA in human services, Concordia University, Saint Paul

Carol Klempka has been a provider of higher education for over 25 years. She is faculty emeritus at Concordia University, having held the positions of program chair of the BA Business program and associate dean of the School of Continuing Studies. During that phase of her academic career, she developed curriculum in organizational behavior and mindful and authentic leadership behaviors, helping learners move along the continuum of self-directedness, honing their business skills and discovering their leadership potential. She has been developing user-friendly, tech-forward, interactive systems of instruction for CCAPS since 2017.

  • ABUS 3051 – Career Search for the Professional Environment
  • ABUS 4105 – Becoming an Authentic Leader in an Applied Business Setting
Ann Lowry

Ann Lowry

PhD, organizational communication, University of Minnesota; MA, interpersonal communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; BA, communication and English, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ann Lowry has over 20 years of experience as an educator and organizational consultant on topics such as presentational speaking, conflict resolution and negotiation, and intercultural communication. She is owner and president of Ann Lowry and Associates, an organizational development consulting firm, where she specializes in group and team effectiveness, strategic planning and goal setting, conflict resolution, and more. She also teaches at Northland College. She was named one of the U of M's CLA Alumni of Notable Achievement in recognition of her contributions to Minnesota businesses. She is currently pursuing a second PhD in mind-body medicine with the intention of assisting leaders to improve performance.

  • ABUS 3510 – Communicating Virtually Across Global Teams in Applied Business Settings
  • ABUS 4023W – Communicating for Results
Deborah Mackay Photo

Deborah Mackay

JD, Hamline University; MA, French and German, Cambridge University; BA, French and German, Cambridge University

Deborah Mackay practiced construction law for 14 years at the Minneapolis firm of Faegre & Benson, where she handled a broad range of construction industry disputes and transactions. She has represented large commercial contractors, design professionals, subcontractors, material suppliers, and project owners. Deborah taught construction law and ethics in the Infrastructure Systems Engineering program at the University of Minnesota and has presented numerous construction law continuing education seminars. She is a past chair of the Construction Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association and a past president of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), Twin Cities chapter.

  • ABUS 4013W – Legal, Ethical, and Risk Issues for Managers
Alyssa Maples headshot

Alyssa Maples

PhD, family social science with an emphasis on couple and family therapy, and BA, child psychology, University of Minnesota; MA, counseling and psychological services, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Dr. Maples has extensive experience teaching undergraduate students and conducting research on college experiences that increase flourishing for college students. She has experience as a career counselor, and as a therapist she continues to work with young adults, focusing primarily on healing trauma and finding ways to thrive (including referrals to professional resources and career development). As an instructor in ABUS 3051, Alyssa enjoys assisting students to develop the skills and confidence that they can take forward into their professional lives.

  • ABUS 3051 – Career Search for the Professional Environment
Head shot of Caroline Marin

Caroline Marin

MA, Strategic Communications, Purdue University; BA, Sociology, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Caroline Marin’s studies at Purdue University focused on audience development and marketing. She has nearly two decades of experience in communications and organizational success spanning multiple industries, including education, journalism, public and media relations, and strategic marketing. She currently works at Thomson Reuters as a marketing operations lead. The most rewarding parts of her career come from supporting and developing collaborative and cohesive teams, something she’s pleased to bring to her teaching at the University of Minnesota.

  • ABUS 3051 – Career Search for the Professional Environment
Kate Mohn

Kate Mohn

MA, Sustainable Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design; BA, English and Environmental Studies, Hamline University

Ms. Mohn has over a decade of experience in strategic communications, grant writing, and program design. Her master's thesis project (funded with a grant from the Bush Foundation) focused on using the tools of sustainable design to drive creative community development in rural Minnesota communities. She serves as Director for Foundation Relations and Strategic Communications for the PFund Foundation and runs her own consulting business.

Jeff Neidt

Jeff Neidt

MEd., University of Minnesota; BA, English and political science, St. Olaf College

During grad school at the U of M, Jeff taught courses in poetry and literature. He took a break from teaching to serve as a copywriter and creative director at several agencies. In 2010, he cofounded an agency, Neidt Writer, as a way to work with brands and agencies who wanted to tell thoughtful, authentic stories. In addition to running Neidt Writer, he is a frequent speaker and teacher of both poetry and professional writing, often looking for areas where the two fields intersect.

  • ABUS 3201 – Digital Design Strategies for Small Business
  • ABUS 4702 – Applied Digital Marketing
Stacy O'Fallon

Stacy O'Fallon

MBA, Augsburg College; BS in Accounting, Golden Gate University

Stacy O'Fallon is a Certified Managerial Accountant, specializing in start-up and growth-oriented organizations. She has over 20 years of experience in service-based industries, focusing on the areas of accounting, finance, and technology. She has held senior accounting and finance positions with Oceanaire Seafood Room, HMS Host, Nath Companies/Bonfire Restaurants, and Kaskaid Hospitality. She started her own hospitality accounting consulting service in 2014, Front Burner. In 2012 she was selected as one of the Top Women in Finance by Minnesota Finance & Commerce. Stacy is an adjunct instructor in business and accounting for St. Paul College and the University of Phoenix.

  • ABUS 3051 – Career Search for the Professional Environment
  • ABUS 4101 − Accounting and Finance for Managers
Kay Rindels

Kay Rindels

MBA, marketing focus, University of St. Thomas; BA, business administration and French, special emphasis on international business, Concordia College 

Kay Rindels is an independent marketing consultant with more than 25 years of experience equipping high-growth companies with the strategies to engage customers and stakeholders with compelling marketing and digital communications. She works with emerging and established technology firms across the United States to drive measurable change across their B2B sales channels. In 2004, she launched Rindels Technology Marketing Inc. to offer strategic marketing, analyst and public relations, public speaking coaching, and customer advocacy programs to a wider set of organizations. She brings these marketing best practices and examples to her courses to ready students for today’s business environment.

  • ABUS 4701 − Introduction to Marketing
Carol Rinkoff

Carol Rinkoff

Dr. Rinkoff has been teaching in and administering higher education since 2005. She is most interested in systems thinking and information fluency, which have in common asking good questions, critical thinking, and collecting information and turning it into applied knowledge and wisdom. Carol has previously served higher education institutions in Minnesota, California, and Maryland as the director of undergraduate and graduate business programs, dean of academic affairs, dean of a satellite campus, and vice president of academic affairs. She has coauthored a book on how managers can use social media in business, and teaches a graduate course in CCAPS, CIVE/ASCL 6314 – Leading Projects and Teams.

Karen Schaffhausen

Karen Schaffhausen

Mini-master's in e-commerce, St. Thomas University; BA, political science, University of Minnesota

Ms. Schaffhausen is a marketer and business strategist who works as a consultant to the entrepreneurial community, including SaaS, manufacturing, and mid-cap businesses. Her special focuses are business and growth strategy, partnerships and business development, Lean Canvas, and Six Sigma. She draws on 15 years of experience as marketing manager for Honeywell International, the GEM Group, Gelco, the Carlson Companies, and Holmes Protection Group. Ms. Schaffhausen has taught a wide variety of classes on business development in the local community and is a facilitator for the UW River Falls Entrepreneurial Training Program.

  • ABUS 3301 – Introduction to Quality Management
Ralf Schirg

Ralf Schirg

MA, management and psychology, Saint Mary’s College, Minneapolis; BA, political science and psychology, Hamline University

Ralf Schirg, a German native, is founder and president of Serenity Consulting, specializing in leadership development and cross-cultural consulting for leaders and employees. He has supported change initiatives, visioning, and human dimension-focused issues. Ralf also works as an executive coach. In the past ten years his focus has been DEI leadership and high-performing teams, and mental health in the workplace. He has worked with both Fortune 100 companies and small businesses in over 35 countries. Clients include Cargill, 3M, General Mills, EY, Honeywell, J&J, Medtronic, Zeiss, Merck, Bausch & Lomb, HP, L’Oreal, BP Amoco, Polaris, ADC, and NFL Europe.

  • ABUS 4502 − Inclusive Business Leadership: Advancing Diversity
  • ABUS 4518 − Leadership and Innovative Decision Making in Applied Business
Brian Simons

Brian Simons

MBA, supply chain and operations focus, Arizona State University; BS, international finance, Arizona State University; BA, history, Arizona State University; BA, political science, Arizona State University; BA, religious studies, Arizona State University.

Brian Simons has been an adjunct instructor since 2018 focusing on management and finance topics. In addition to teaching, he currently serves as the CEO of Janus Logistics Technologies, a VC back technology firm in the supply chain and logistics space. Previously he held leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies including Honeywell, United Technologies, and NCR as well as private equity owned firms.

Steven Taylor Photo

Steven Taylor

MPA, George Washington University; BA, psychology and economics, George Washington University

Steven Taylor has expertise in facility management, resource optimization, and public administration. He is currently employed by Carver County, MN, and is responsible for 25 percent of the county’s operating budget. In all, he has managed over $100 million in new and remodeled facility construction efforts over the past several years, utilizing multiple delivery methods. He has also served as director of finance and administration for the Denver Public Library, senior budget and management analyst for the City and County of Denver, program controls manager for the Department of the Navy, and project manager at Lockheed-Martin.

  • ABUS 4211 – Facility Asset Management, Finance, and Budgeting
Julie Tschida

Julie Tschida

PhD, Management with a focus on Organizational Leadership, University of Phoenix; MA, Organizational Leadership, St. Catherine University; BA, Human Resource Management, Metropolitan State University

Dr. Tschida’s career has focused on human resources as a practitioner, consultant, educator, business owner, coach, and mentor. She has led strategic human resources initiatives in corporate, government, and academic settings. Her leadership roles have included human resources vice president, director, and consultant. As a business owner, she has applied business concepts and theories to develop solutions to meet day-to-day operational needs and strategic objectives of organizations. She has held various faculty roles at Concordia University, St. Paul College, and Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and serves on the board of directors of Lee Carlson Center, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit mental health provider.

  • ABUS 4104 – Management and Human Resource Practices