Meet the Board Members of The Grace Foundation in Rochester, MN. Our seven-member Board meets monthly to oversee the organization’s activities. Additionally, they host an annual meeting open to our entire membership.
Christian L. Baum, M.D. – President
Dr. Christian L. Baum practices medicine as a consultant at Mayo Clinic. A native of Iowa, he met his wife at Iowa State University and moved to Rochester in 2010. They have three children, all of whom attend Rochester Central Lutheran School.
Chris has been involved with The Grace Foundation since the early planning days. He welcomed this opportunity because he believes fervently in the value of Christian education, which offers a balance of discipleship, grace, and academic rigor. He enjoys his service on the Board of Directors as the organization endeavors to strengthen Christian education in the Rochester area. Chris’s interests include spending time with family, running, reading, cooking and fly fishing.
Christie A. Atwell, CFA – Secretary
Christie A. Atwell founded Benefit & Investment Consulting, LLC. in 2005, which specializes in Stable Value fund management. She earned the globally recognized Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential in 2001.
A Wisconsin native, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Finance Investment & Banking. She settled in Rochester, MN, with her husband. They have three children, all of whom attend or have graduated from Rochester Central Lutheran School. Her passion for Christian education attracted her to serve on the board of The Grace Foundation.
Christie serves as treasurer for her church and is an active volunteer at her children’s school. Previously, she managed a branch office for Charles Schwab. She enjoys the outdoors and especially fly fishing.
E. Paul Lindell, M.D.
Biography coming soon.
Peter S. Melsness, CFP – Treasurer
Peter Melsness is the owner of Superior Financial, LLC, which he founded in 2009. Peter serves as Principal and Chief Compliance Officer, providing fee-only financial planning and investment management. Peter holds a Bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and a Master’s degree from Michigan State University.
A native of Minnesota, Peter and his wife Sarah moved to Rochester in 2006. Peter is passionate about Christian education and is proud to say that all four of his children are either attending or have graduated from Rochester Central Lutheran School. In addition to serving The Grace Foundation Board, Peter also enjoys coaching basketball and soccer at RCLS.
Susanna Stone joined the RCLS teaching staff as a Spanish Teacher in the Fall of 2018, having earned an M.A. in Spanish with a Language Teaching Emphasis from the University of Missouri, and having experience as a Spanish Instructor at the University of Missouri and Central Methodist University as well as a Study Abroad Assistant to the Director in Barcelona, Spain.
A current Coordinator of Youth and Christian Education at the First Presbyterian Church in Rochester, MN, Susanna also has past experience as a Program Coordinator and Diversity Trainer for the Diversity Council in Rochester, MN, and has worked as a staff attorney for a non-profit in suburban Chicago. She earned her B.A. from Knox College in Illinois, and a J.D. from the University of Illinois.
A resident of Rochester since 2014, she is a member of the Rochester Area Handbells, and a youth and high school Soccer referee. Susanna and her husband of twelve years have a two year old son.
Scott Peloquin holds a B.S. in Finance, and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. With 12 years of experience at the Mayo Clinic, Scott is currently a manager in the Internal Audit Department. Scott also has experience having previously served on the finance committee at a local church.
Scott and his wife, Amanda, moved to Rochester 11 years ago, and have since grown their family to include Nora, Natalie, and Evan, their 3 children. Originally from Chippewa Falls, WI, both Amanda and Scott graduated from Christian High Schools. Scott enjoys traveling, sports, and coaching in his free time.
Heather A. Heaton, M.D.
Dr. Heather Heaton is an emergency medicine physician at Mayo Clinic. Heather moved to Rochester in 2013 with her family, after spending her younger years moving about the country. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Chemistry minor from Texas Christian University, a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and a master’s degree in Clinical Informatics from Arizona State University.
Heather joined The Grace Foundations Board of Directors in 2022; she identified with the Foundation’s mission to serve RCLS and the Rochester community as an organization to help augment financial resources for the school in support of ongoing needs and future growth. She has two daughters that attend RCLS. As a family, their favorite hobby is traveling, and they pair it with riding horses every opportunity they can.