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Next Board Meeting:
Thursday, November 9, 6:30 pm
@ Urban Growler Brewing Company
Hayloft Room
2325 Endicott St
St Paul, MN 55114

Those with business to present to the Board should contact the President:

2017 MnBS Board of Directors

Other Committee Contacts:


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Mail Address:

P.O. BOX 580704

2017 MnBS Committees


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Documents & Policies

[Internet Communications/Advertising Policy]
[MnBS Bylaws (Amended 7/17/2011)]
[Sponsorship Guidelines (Adopted 3/7/2011)]
[MnBS In-Kind Sponsorship Agreement]
[How To Process A MnBS Membership (08/04/2014)]

Board Files (Password Required)

Membership Database

Board of Directors' Biographies

Richard Schaefer


My name is Richard Schaefer. I am presently serving as President of the MnBS Board of Directors. I have been a member of the Minnesota Blues Society since 2009, on the Board of Directors since 2011 and a Lifetime Member.

As a leading officer of the Society I have multiple opportunities to observe the daily challenges our organization encounters. While we have grown in membership the future choices that become necessary to define our direction need to be carefully charted. Securing our accounting system, expanding our web and social network reach, and defining strategic objectives are examples of projects that will help ensure the viability and sustainability of the Minnesota Blues Society. I would like the opportunity to promote these items, and more.

The Blues Society has multiple events throughout the year. From Blues for Kids, Road To Memphis, the Hall of Fame ceremony, periodic fundraisers, picnics and sponsored activities our membership has been supportive and growing during its first twelve years of existence. I have seen the leadership and hard work that makes this Society successful and I want to remain a part of its future.

The Hall of Fame committee has been especially rewarding as I have been able to meet, and speak with, some of the finest Blues artists in the State of Minnesota. Being able to recognize the work and passion that our Awardees have endeavored to achieve while they encourage and mentor the rising talent that keeps our region vibrant, has been very gratifying to our committee and members. Maintaining the prestige and integrity of the Hall of Fame will require an imaginative approach that recognizes the past, present and future.

For the past seven years I have traveled to Memphis to enjoy the Blues Foundation International Blues Competition while meeting blues fans both nationally and internationally. Recently I’ve gotten the opportunity to join the volunteers that provide the backbone of the IBC and hope to participate again this January.

I feel extremely fortunate to belong to this group. I have made many new friends, been given a chance to meet talented musicians, and observed the power of volunteerism when the blues community comes together for supporting our mutual causes. The success and growth of the Society is very important to me.

The mission statement of the Society reads in part "…to preserve, commemorate, educate, celebrate and promote the past, present and future of Blues music in Minnesota." I pledge to uphold this objective if given the opportunity.

Marilee Blake


I have been serving on the Minnesota Blues Society Board of Directors for several years now. During my term(s) I’ve worked hard on our mission; specifically, to pay due homage to our State’s great Blues musicians, artists and supporters, living and passed on, through MnBS Hall of Fame leadership.

I sincerely feel that Minnesota’s many Blues virtuosos deserve worthy recognition and that folks need to be educated about their relevance and important contributions to the most excellent music - Blues. I will strive to continue this effort on or off the MnBS Board.

This past year I thoroughly enjoyed Chairing the MnBS Annual Membership Appreciation Picnic Committee, whence we presented a high quality celebration chockfull of great music and food at a splendid idyllic location which delivered enjoyment to the best of Blues fans! Likewise, I’m excited about being part of the team delivering an equally fun Holiday Party!

My heartfelt and persistant goal for Minnesota Blues is to work diligently at securing a multi-use physical location to serve as MnBS Headquarters, a Blues For Kids and Blues education facility, and importantly, an actual Blues "Hall of Fame" showcase location.

Deb Hills


My name is Deb Hills. It has been a joy to serve on the board since 2008. Last year, I took on the task of being secretary, which keeps me updated of everything that is going on. I look forward to continuing to serve as a director, secretary, volunteer, and member of various committees. I also do some graphic work for the society, which helps keep the Minnesota Blues Society visually present as well as promoting the fabulous musicians we work with. I enjoy volunteering at the events and meeting new people within the blues community. We have such a strong blues presence in the Twin Cities and it is my hope that we can spread out our mission of supporting the blues culture throughout the entire state on Minnesota.

Mark Halverson


I was born and raised in St. Peter, Minnesota, and while at one time I resided in Alaska while working on the Alaska Railroad as a trainman, for the most part I have resided at the bend of the Great River in Mankato where I have been a practicing attorney for many years.

FANDOM First and foremost, I have been a blues fan for as long as I have been a music fan. Growing up in outstate Minnesota, opportunities to see live blues were somewhat limited until I got to college where many of the foremost blues artists of the time were frequently invited to play on campus. Of course, records always provided an opportunity to listen to blues. Like many of my era, to some extent I was introduced to American blues via the British blues/rock bands.

In the mid 70’s I lived close to the West Bank which was the blues epicenter of the Twin Cities at the time. I was able to see all of the Twin Cities bands of the time and some national acts as they passed through.

Before there were many blues festivals, I would always gravitate to blues acts at what were called folk or jazz festivals. I attended every Winnipeg Folk Festival during the 1980s (that festival included a healthy portion of blues). Later, I attended the first Chicago Blues Festival and have attended most since. While I drove by the first Bayfront Blues Festival I elected not to stop for logistic reasons, I did make the second one, and almost all since.

BLUES ACTIVITIES Beyond Fandom, I have devoted significant time and resources to promoting or facilitating blues. My primary blues activity overall has been hosting and producing over six hours of weekly blues radio programming on an independent public radio network for almost 25 years.

I owned and operated the iconic south-shore Lake Superior club Brokedown Palace for several years beginning in 1989. During that time, I became well acquainted with most Wisconsin and Minnesota blues acts, many of whom are still active. I have maintained personal friendships with many of those people.

I have organized and produced many blues events. The Blues Before Monday Performance Series has through a combination of donations, grants and support from KMSU/KMSK radio for approximately 20 years brought some of the finest blues acts to the Mankato area. I have served as a consultant to the Rock Bend Folk Festive (25 years) and the Riverfront Blues Festival as to blues and roots acts appearing at those events. I have written numerous articles about blues matters for Blues On Stage (still archived), Blue Monday and some commercial publication. I have taken photographs to accompanying these articles, and otherwise taken hundreds of professional quality photos of blues artists and such.

ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND I have a strong organizational background; having served on the BOD of many organizations dating back to when we incorporated the student government I was an officer of in college. I have served on the boards of large organizations (regional arts board), small ones and in particular many having to do with the production of music events. I was on the BOD of Peoples Fair, a long running annual Mankato music festival which drew about 10,000 people each year. I am currently on the BOD of Save the Kasota Prairie (treasurer) the Mankato Area MLK event and chair of the Blue Earth County unit of a major political party (you’ll never guess which). Other board membership may exist but are dormant.

I was a member of the Upper Mississippi Blues Society during its existence. I was a member of the Blues Society Task Force from which both the Minnesota Blues Association and GTCBMS evolved. I was on the BOD of the Minnesota Blues Association from its inception until its implosion. I always regretted the schism that resulted in two organizations and never really understood why that happened. I stepped back from the blues society world for a spell, but have seen the Minnesota Blues Society grow into a very viable organization and have been a supporter for several years. I was a judge at two past Road To Memphis events and have increasingly attended MnBS events as logistics allows.

As an attorney, I have perpetrated or assisted in the incorporation of several non-profits and assisted them when there were assorted issues.

I general work well with people, although I am not afraid to do the "dirty work" when necessary and ruffle feathers if need be.

I believe I have a diverse background particularly suited to being a director of a Minnesota blues society, and would be honored to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Blues Society. Thank you for your consideration.

Wayne Hamilton


Wayne Hamilton is an award-winning singer/songwriter. He is a member of ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), Minnesota Music Collective, Songwriters of Wisconsin and The Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota History Theatre and formerly served as President of the Minnesota Association of Songwriters (MAS) for nine years.

Born and educated in the south, Hamilton attempts to create music with “a sense of humor and southern style.” Though he writes in several genres, he has been deeply influenced by his exposure to the Blues and R&B music during his youth.

Since 2000, Hamilton has released three solo CDs and two EPs on his own label. He has appeared at several music festivals and has been a finalist in numerous songwriting contests. He has also received awards for his leadership in and service to the Twin Cities music community. For more information, please visit waynehamilton.com.

Steve Leutgeb


After retiring from my machinist career in June 2014, I was able to pursue my love of music to a much greater degree. I had grown up with interests in rock and jazz and found that both were based in the blues. I was able to go to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge in 2015, where I met many members and musicians from the MnBS. We had such a great time that I got more involved in MnBS events and was later asked to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors.

In my time on the Board I have helped to organize and work at all of our annual events. I have been a volunteer at the Road To Memphis competitions, the annual picnic, Lowertown Bluesfest, and various fundraising activities. I hope to meet more of our members and I will work to get even more people involved in the Minnesota Blues Society and to help them find the joy of the music and thee friendships that come from being a member of the Minnesota Blues Society.

Linda Tannebaum


Hello, my name is Linda Tannenbaum and yes, Barry is my husband.   I also am a person who is very interested in serving on the Board.  My background is as a Social Worker and an Attorney.  I have worked on many committees and have done extensive work on conferences.   I have set up programs to work with people and families.  I also have a minor in art and a two year degree in advertising.  I believe all these qualities would be beneficial to help the Blues Society to grow and serve the community.  I have also been volunteering at some of the fundraisers that the Blues Society has sponsored. 

I believe that finding this community has renewed my enjoyment of life and helped me to become involved with people who are fun, caring and devoted to ensuring that the Blues tradition will continue to live on.  I would love to get to know these people better. 

I hope you will consider me for a position on the Board.   Thank you.





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