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2 join Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees

Robbyn Wacker1 / 2
Santo Cruz2 / 2

LITTLE FALLS—Matt Varilek, president of the Initiative Foundation, announced St. Cloud State President Robbyn Wacker and CentraCare Health's Santo Cruz were appointed to the foundation's Board of Trustees.

"St. Cloud State University is a longtime partner of the Initiative Foundation, reflecting the many goals and values we have in common," Varilek said in a news release. "We are thrilled to have President Wacker join our board, and I want to personally welcome her to the region."

Cruz recently returned to his central Minnesota roots after being named executive director for government and community relations at CentraCare Health. "We're fortunate that Santo is putting his exceptional talents to work here in the region where he grew up," Varilek said. "He brings vast business and legal experience that will be a great asset on our board."

As incoming president at St. Cloud State University, Wacker said she believes in the Initiative Foundation's "holistic approach to strengthening communities by focusing on economy, community and philanthropy," the release stated.

Wacker hopes to contribute to the board by working with partners to surface workforce opportunities and drive economic development in the region.

Wacker has spent much of her professional life at the University of Northern Colorado as a professor and administrator, and has enjoyed her time as a new resident of Central Minnesota.

As executive director of government and community relations at CentraCare Health, Cruz sees the need to continue to address regional child care and workforce shortages. He also sees the need to prepare as our population ages.

As a Stearns county native, Cruz has a vested interest in seeing this region prosper. Cruz recently moved from St. Paul to rural Wright County with his wife and four kids.

The Initiative Foundation provides business financing and technical assistance, awards nonprofit grants, hosts Partner Funds and leads a variety of leadership programs that enable citizens to build stronger communities, the release stated. Learn more at