The Great River Passage Conservancy represents the next generation of civic and philanthropic leadership.

The Great River Passage Conservancy advocates for projects and guides private fundraising efforts for projects along the Mississippi River. The Conservancy is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit that works in partnership with the City of Saint Paul.

Founding Board Members

Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D. (Board Chair)
President and CEO
Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations

As President and CEO of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations, Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., educates, elevates, and gives voice to people in his communities. Managing $1.5 billion in assets and 2,000 charitable funds, the Foundations also support the work of the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation.

Shelley Buck
Prairie Island Indian Community

President Shelley Buck is serving her fourth term on the Prairie Island Tribal Council and second term as President. Prior to being elected Tribal Council President, Buck held other positions within the Prairie Island Indian Community government, including Tribal Council Secretary and Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.

John I. Marshall
Director of Community Relations
Xcel Energy

John Marshall works for Xcel Energy as the Director of Community Relations. His team manages strategic relationships within roughly 700 Minnesota communities served by Xcel Energy, playing a critical role in areas of operations, energy policy, emergency response, economic development, and business retention and expansion.

Joe Nayquonabe, Jr.
Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures

Joe Nayquonabe, Jr. is an American Indian business professional who has spent his career reimagining and reinventing how American Indian tribal economies grow and prosper. He spent more than a decade as a marketing executive growing the Grand Casino brand before ascending to CEO of the Mille Lacs Band’s Corporate Commission.

Jake Reint
Managing Director, Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector/Flint Hills Resources

Jake Reint oversees communications and public affairs for Flint Hills Resources, a leading oil refining, pipeline, biofuels and petrochemical company based in Wichita, Kansas. He specializes in strategic communications, crisis management, media relations, and political and issues advocacy.


Jim Stolpestad
Founder and Senior Principal
Exeter Group LLC

Jim Stolpestad founded the Exeter real estate business in 1991 and is currently Senior Principal with the company and its legacy affiliates.  He previously was a commercial real estate attorney in private practice with a national law firm based in the Twin Cities, following positions as Special Assistant Minnesota Attorney General and an attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Funding Partners

F. R. Bigelow Foundation

Saint Paul Foundation