Rebecca Dahlberg

President – Rebecca Dahlberg, MD

Rebecca has worked in the field of medicine for 10 years. She graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence with a bachelor of arts in biology and English. She received her doctorate of medicine from the University of Kansas. Rebecca completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in nephrology at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison. After practicing as a nephrologist in York, Pennsylvania for 1 year, she moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota where she worked as a primary care provider for Allina Health for the last 5 years. Combining her passions for medicine and writing, she created her freelance medical writing business, Dahlberg Medical Communications, LLC. She has written and edited journal manuscripts and patient education materials. She is looking forward to contributing to the field of medical communications and AMWA. E-mail Rebecca at president (at) amwanorthcentral (dot) org.


President-elect – Kendra Hyland, PhD

Kendra is currently a technical writer at Medtronic in the Restorative Therapies Group.  She writes and updates manuals containing the instructions for use for an implantable infusion pump and accessories.  Kendra has experience in the fields of molecular biology, microbiology, mucosal immunology, and gene therapy, and has authored several research articles and grant applications. Kendra joined AMWA in 2014, and is looking forward to working with other chapter leaders.


Karen Bannick

Past President – Karen Bannick, MA, RAC, FRAPS

Karen is a biostatistician with considerable clinical and regulatory experience in the medical device industry. With this broad knowledge base, she has prepared successful clinical protocols, manuscripts, literature reviews, and countless regulatory submissions for Class II and III devices in the US as well as MDD and AIMD devices in the EU.  As an independent consultant for the past 16 years, she has worked on numerous US and EU projects in many disciplines including neuromodulation, wound care, cardiovascular, sleep apnea and infusion pumps. She thoroughly enjoys the industry and working with clients to negotiate and execute a strategy for their products.


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Co-treasurer – Venugopal “Venu” Thayanithy, PhD

Venu is a Research Associate in Medicine at the University of Minnesota and holds a Master’s degree in Biology and a PhD in Molecular Biology. He has authored over 2 dozen research articles and abstracts on the molecular biology of human diseases and was the recipient of several prestigious fellowships and awards. Venu also serves as a review editor at the genetics editorial office of Frontiers and as an ad-hoc reviewer for leading research journals in the field. His long experience and interest in medical research brought him into the field of medical writing. He can be contacted at treasurer (at) amwanorthcentral (dot) org.


Co-treasurer – Ellen O’Malley, MS

Ellen is a medical and regulatory writer at Entellus Medical, a small medical device company located in the Twin Cities.  Ellen writes regulatory clinical documents, such as clinical study reports, informed consents, and facilitates manuscript writing.  Working at a small company allows Ellen to see the value of her work on a daily basis and to see that her work directly contributes to the well-being of patients.  Ellen has a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from the College of St. Benedict and a Master of Science in Laboratory Sciences in clinical chemistry from the University of Minnesota. She has been an AMWA member for several years, and has earned medical writing and editing certificates.  Ellen appreciates the opportunities for networking locally and nationally through AMWA.


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Secretary – Lynelle Martinez, MBA

Lynelle has worked in the medical device industry since 2001 as a technical/medical writer and clinical research associate (CRA). Previously, she worked as nurse with a primary focus in gerontology and psychology. She completed her MBA in 2007 at the University of Phoenix and has been an AMWA member since 2014. Lynelle anticipates that her combination of patient healthcare, life sciences, and business experience will help enhance the Chapter.


Naomi Ruff

Past Secretary – Naomi Ruff, PhD, ELS

In 2000, 6 months after attending her first AMWA conference, Naomi transitioned from a postdoctoral fellowship in neurosciences directly to the (wonderful!) world of freelance biomedical communications.  Through her business, RuffDraft Communications LLC, she writes and edits many types of documents on a wide range of topics in the life sciences and medicine, but she has particular expertise in scientific materials intended for a professional audience (journal articles, grant applications, slide presentations, and the like). Thanks to modern technology, she was able to relocate from California to Duluth in 2008 without much disruption to her business (or some clients even noticing). She greatly misses being close to AMWA chapter activities, but that is offset a bit by living and working 2 blocks from Lake Superior. E-mail Naomi at secretary (at) amwanorthcentral (dot) org.

Past Officers


    • 2015-2016–Karen Bannick
    • 2014-2015–Nissa Mollema
    • 2013-2014–Ruth Taswell
    • 2012-2013–Theresa King-Hunter
    • 2011-2012—Karen Steinhilber
    • 2010-2011—Michael Franklin
    • 2009-2010—Kimberly McGhee, PhD
    • 2008-2009—Randall Fritz, DVM
    • 2007-2008—Brenda Hudson, PhD
    • 2006-2007—Colleen Sauber
    • 2005-2006—Anne Marie Weber-Main, PhD
    • 2002-2004—Donna Bowlin
    • 2000-2002—Paul Mamula, PhD
    • 1998-1999—Eugene Millhouse, PhD
    • 1994-1995—Barbara Gaynor
    • 1992-1993—Mary Knatterud
    • 1988-1989—James Kaufmann, PhD
    • 1987-1988—Martha Heiberg
    • 1986-1987—Angela Henriksen
    • 1985-1986—Jack Key
    • 1984-1985—Robert Howard
    • 1983-1984—Deanna Servick
    • 1982-1983—Kay Savoie
    • 1981-1982—Guy Whitehead, PhD
    • 1980-1981—David Florence, MD
    • 1979-1980—John Callahan, MD
    • 1978-1979—Stan Carlson
    • 1978—Beth Grendahl
    • 1977—Jack Key
    • 1976—Barbara Cox
    • 1974—Reuben Berman


2015-2016—Rebecca Dahlberg

2014-2015—Karen Bannick

2013-2014—Nissa Mollema

2012-2013—Ruth Taswell

2011-2012—Theresa King-Hunter

2010-2011—Karen Steinhilber

2009-2010—Michael Franklin

2008-2009—Kimberly McGhee, PhD

2007-2008—Randall Fritz, DVM

2006-2007—Brenda Hudson, PhD

2005-2006—Colleen Sauber

2004—Colleen Duffy

2001-2002—Colleen Duffy

1991-1992—Mary Knatterud

1988-1989—Jane Hodgson, MD

1987-1988—James Kaufmann, PhD

1986-1987—Martha Heiberg

1985-1986—Angela Henriksen

1984-1985—Jack Key

1983-1984—Robert Howard, MD

1982-1983—Deanne Servick

1981-1982—Kay Savoie

1980-1981—Guy Whitehead, PhD

1979-1980—David Florence, MD

1978-1979—John Callahan, MD

1978—Stan Carlson

1977—Beth Grendahl

1976—Jack Key

Vice President

1988-1990—Mary Knatterud (Twin Cities) and LeAnn Stee (Rochester)

1987-1988—Frances Munnings

1986-1987—Timothy Shea

1985-1986—Sheila Nauman Todd

1984-1985—Angela Henriksen

1983-1984—Jack Key

1982-1983—Judith Gunn Bronson

1981-1982—Deanne Servick

1980-1981—Kay Savoie

1980—Guy Whitehead, PhD

1979—John Hutcheson

1978-1979—David Florence, MD

1978—John Callahan, MD

1977—Stan Carlson

1976—Beth Grendahl


2016-2018—Lynelle Martinez

2014-2016—Naomi Ruff

2012-2014–Carolyn Peterson

2010-2012—Mary Pat McGinnis

2009-2010—Roxanne Landon

2007-2010—June Oshiro

2005-2008—Charyl Dutton Gibbs

2001-2004—Leslie Charles


2015-2017—Venugopal “Venu” Thayanithy

2013-2015—Joy Frestedt

2011-2013—Alexandra Woods

2008-2011—Liz Davies, MSW

2008—Brenda Hudson, PhD

2006-2007—Cynthia Sparks

2005-2007—Leslie Charles

2001-2004—Ivar Arthur Zemmels, PhD


1974-1996—Elaine Nye, PhD