Women of Influence

We feature four influential women in the Twin Cities area who are breaking new ground and inspiring others through their accomplishments.




Lily Wellness

When you’re undergoing treatment for cancer, you can lose your hair, your appetite, your energy, and your self-esteem.

“I just want to help lessen the loss,” says Jan Beeson, owner of Lily Wellness, a Burnsville-based “one-stop-shop” for women undergoing cancer treatment.

Products in the warm, inviting boutique include high-quality, reasonably-priced wigs in 35 different styles, soft, seamless head scarves, fashionable hats, post-mastectomy bras, handmade prayer shawls, camisoles with special pouches for drainage tubes, swimwear, skin care and radiation-therapy lines, humorous books and T-shirts, gift baskets, jewelry, and more.

Beeson, 51, hasn’t always been a business entrepreneur. Before opening Lily Wellness a year ago, she was a private school administrator in Rosemount (and before that, an English teacher). She started thinking about opening Lily, named for the graceful, beautiful, resilient flower, after accompanying a close friend to a wig fitting in the fall of 2007.

“It wasn’t a positive experience,” she says. “I was harping about the indignity of it when my husband told me I should do something to make the experience better.”

That “something” became Lily Wellness, a boutique that—during the past year—has served women of all ages with all types of cancer. Others who appreciate the product selection and wig fitting room, the comfortable ambiance, and Beeson’s respectful, honest, and caring personality include women with thinning hair, those with the medical condition alopecia, and men and women in search of a thoughtful gift for a loved one diagnosed with cancer.

As the owner and sole employee, Beeson says it can be a challenge trying to juggle the roles of wife, mother, janitor, marketing specialist, accountant, clerk, retail buyer, and completing the training necessary to become a certified breast prosthesis fitter, but she is quick to point out that the rewards of the job far outweigh any of the first-year bumps in the road.

She often laughs with her clients, has been known to cry with them, and develops a special bond with those who trust her enough to reveal their hair loss and mastectomy scars.

“I truly care about my clients as people rather than ‘just a sale,’” Beeson says. “It is an honor getting to know so many courageous, compassionate and kind women on a regular basis. I can’t imagine a more rewarding, more wonderful job.”

Lily Wellness
1601A Southcross Dr. W.
Burnsville, MN 55306

Complimentary private consultations are available by appointment Monday – Friday. Retail hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.


LPL Financial

The bad news? You can’t beat a recession.

The good news? Experienced wealth manager Lisa Guzek-Montagné with LPL Financial can help you navigate the market’s stormy seas, helping to ease your worries during an economic downturn.

She has been assisting clients in protecting assets, minimizing taxes, improving credit, planning for future generations, and helping them grow wealth and reach financial goals for 23 years, offering securities through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC, for the past 15. LPL Financial is a unique broker-dealer in that they are not affiliated or owned by an investment or insurance company, unlike some of the other larger financial advising firms. This independence allows Lisa to customize objective financial services for each investor by selecting from the universe of investment products and removing the bias that is often affiliated with firms offering proprietary products.

She is a Certified Financial Planner (not all financial planners have this designation), regularly completes ongoing education and research to better help her clients, and credits “a strong work ethic, sincerity, honesty, and treating others with respect” as secrets to her success—although she is the first to admit that success didn’t come easy.

Early on in her career, she considered leaving the world of financial consulting for a more “safe route” that didn’t involve the risks of being self-employed. “My manager at the time advised me not to give up. He said to allow myself a minimum of three years to turn my business around,” she says. She heeded his advice, and with hard work, a solid business plan, and patience, she persevered.

Today, her job is immensely rewarding, specifically being able to build trusting, lasting relationships with individuals and couples of all income levels. Perhaps now more than ever—with markets ping-ponging—she feels she is able to calm worried clients and help make a difference in their lives.

Her advice during this volatile economic environment is don’t panic, stay focused, search out new investment opportunities when appropriate, and revisit and reinforce existing plans or create one if you haven’t started.

“Be careful with the choices you make,” she says. “Don’t let money be your God. This is a good time to respect what you have earned and carefully plan how you spend it.”

LPL Financial
1650 West 82nd St., Suite 1090
Bloomington, MN 55431


Finnegans Inc.

The fact that Jacquie Berglund founded a successful beer company is one thing.

The fact that she founded a successful beer company and donates 100 percent of its profits to funding programs for at-risk youth and the working poor is entirely another.

By founding Finnegans, Inc. and the Finnegans Community Fund, this inspiring social entrepeneur has raised local awareness about poverty-related issues—and created positive change—right in our backyard.

Jacquie, a former marketing director for a restaurant group, has grown the distribution of Finnegans Irish Amber throughout the state of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota over the past nine years. Finnegans is now available in over 400 restaurants and bars and 580 liquor stores in the Midwest region. Profits from beer sales and fundraising has enabled the Finnegans Community Fund to donate more than $118,000 to community projects and raise awareness about the poverty through www.finnegans.org, informative signage in bars and restaurants, and the Finnegans Brigade—a group of over 1,000 volunteers who have fun while letting people know about this important grass roots cause.

Jacquie has been socially conscious since she was in school. She went on to earn her master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy in France before spending five years working for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. During her tenure she played a key role in bringing together government officials who were once at war with one another.

Her good work hasn’t gone ignored. She has received the B. Warren Hart Distinguished Service Award from the St. Paul Jaycees, was nominated as one of the “40 under 40” by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, was named one of the Ten Young Outstanding Minnesotans by the Minnesota Jaycees, and was nominated as the Distinguished Irish Woman of the Year by the St. Paul St. Patrick’s Day Association. Local outreach projects initiated by this go-getter include: new furniture in a 24-unit efficiency apartment building for homeless youth; computers and software to a low-income housing facility; and the creation of Spudtoberfest, an annual event that raises funds for at-risk youth. Other projects include programs for low-income youth, pregnant teens, and at-risk families in our community.

Finnegans Inc.
335 E. 18th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404


Hennepin County Medical Center

Helping people has been a passion of Kathy Wilde’s for as long as she can remember, and now—as the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC)—she can help people on an even larger scale. As CNO, she is responsible for enhancing the effectiveness of patient care, mentoring, managing, and performing everything from operations to budget evaluations. She is a respected member of the senior management team, educated in business practice and nursing administration.

Kathy joined HCMC in July of 2007 with more than 30 years of nursing leadership experience under her belt. She was with Mercy and Unity Hospitals for 12 years, most recently serving as Vice President of Operations/Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer. Prior to that, she spent more than 20 years in nursing management with the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics. Before moving into nursing leadership roles, she practiced nursing in the areas of critical care, oncology, and general medicine.

“I’m excited to be at Hennepin for a number of reasons,” Kathy comments. “First, I love the teaching environment and the opportunity to teach people and help them learn. That has always been in my blood. Another thing that impresses me is people’s articulation of the mission here at Hennepin, knowing that providing outstanding health care services to a diverse group of patients is why we are here and is what give us pride in our work every day. This is also a time of great opportunity and challenge for Hennepin, in terms of change, growth, and expansion. It has been so rewarding for me to meet the people here, learn the culture, and to do what we need to do to make the hospital even better than it is today.”

She holds a master of arts degree in human and health services administration from St. Mary’s Graduate School and a bachelor of arts degree in nursing from Metropolitan State University. She is a member of the Minnesota Organization of Leaders in Nursing, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Organization of Nursing Executives, the Nightingale Society, and the Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Kathy and her husband of 31 years, Gary, live in south Minneapolis. In their free time, the couple enjoy their cabin, water sports, and golf. Though they are now confirmed joggers, Kathy notes that they competed in many marathons in the past, including both the Twin Cities Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth.

Hennepin County Medical Center

701 Park Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55415


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