Board Members

John DeCramer, Chair
Lyon County, Region 8
John DeCramer lives in Marshall, Minnesota is retired from BH Electronics, Inc., a Minnesota company that designs and manufactures high frequency magnetic components. John also has considerable community service experience. John currently serves as a member of the Marshall City Council, with liaison roles to the Marshall municipal utility and the Marshall economic development authority. John also serves on the United Community Action board, a southwest Minnesota non-profit community organization. Mr. DeCramer was designated as Chair by Governor Dayton in January, 2015 and reappointed by Governor Walz in 2020.
 
Terri Thao
Ramsey County, Region 11 (Metro)
Terri Thao has spent her career committed to racial and economic equity in the field of community development and community building. She is currently a program director for local non-profit intermediary, Nexus Community Partners, where she leads the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI), which identifies, trains and helps place communities of color and underrepresented communities on publicly appointed boards and commissions in support of an equity agenda. She serves on the board for several community organizations, including the East Side Neighborhood Development Company, Voices for Racial Justice, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, CommonBond Communities, Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), and the City of St. Paul Planning Commission.
 
Craig Klausing
Ramsey County, Region 11 (Metro)
Craig Klausing, of Roseville, is an attorney who until his retirement practiced law with the Office of the Director of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. Craig has been involved in his community in various capacities; including serving for ten years on the Roseville City Council, with two terms as mayor. Craig is currently on the board of the Family Housing Fund, and recently concluded five years on the Ramsey County Library Board, including two year as its chair.
 
Stephen Spears
Hennepin County, Region 11 (Metro)
Stephen Spears resides in Plymouth, MN and serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for First Security Bank & Trust. He has also served in senior leadership positions at Old National Bank, Klein Bank, TruStone Financial, GMAC-RFC, and US Bank. Stephen has over 25 years of broad financial services experience with a focus and expertise in housing finance. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.

In addition to serving as a Minnesota Housing Board Member Stephen has served on the board for Kinship of Greater Minneapolis and currently serves on the boards and executive committees of Hope4Youth and Spare Key.
 
Stephanie Klinzing
Sherburne County, Region 7W
Stephanie Klinzing is currently a board member on the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and has served in that role for more than a decade. She is also a current member of the Minnesota Board on Aging. She brings a wealth of policy experience. She was mayor of Elk River for 12 years and founded a transitional housing program for homeless families in Elk River. Klinzing has served as an elected official in the Minnesota House of Representatives and on the Sherburne County Board of Commissioners. Prior to her public service, she was a community newspaper journalist for more than 20 years. She is an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreille Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa and lives in Elk River (Sherburne County), which is located in Region 7W.
 
Melanie Benjamin
Mille Lacs County, Region 7E
Melanie is the Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, in the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation in east-central Minnesota. 
Benjamin has been a Minnesota Housing board member since 2019.
 
The Honorable Julie Blaha, State Auditor
Ex-officio member
Julie Blaha is currently Minnesota’s 19th State Auditor. She was sworn in on January 7th, 2019, and in her inaugural address pledged to protect the high standards Minnesota is known for in government operation and finances. The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) is a constitutional office that is charged with overseeing nearly $40 billion spent annually by local governments in Minnesota. The OSA also educates local leaders with the training, data, and analysis they need to make the best, most informed decisions in communities across our state. Blaha represents Minnesotans on boards that deal with issues on investments, economic development, housing, and pensions. Before her election to this office, Julie Blaha served as a middle school math teacher in the Anoka-Hennepin school district, was past president of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota, and was the first woman elected secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota AFL-CIO.