Meet the Board of Directors

Bill Whelan, President

Term Ends 12/31/2024

I’m honored to be asked to serve on the board of directors for the MN Blues Society.  I’m a lifetime member of the Blues Society. I feel humbled to participate in an organization that wants to preserve, celebrate, and advance the musical genre of the blues.

As I scroll through the Blues Foundation’s web site, I’m reminded of all the categories that represent the blues (previously the Handy awards). Some examples are:  Traditional Blues, Contemporary Blues, Acoustic Blues, Blues Rock, Soul Blues, and the list continues.

I’m pleased that there is plenty of room at “blues” table as we feast. I personally like to talk about what is the blues, rather than to speak of what is not the blues.

As a working musician in the Twin Cities, I have enjoyed the continued support from this organization. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in the Road to Memphis Challenge, and ultimately the International Blues Challenge in Memphis,TN in 2020. I’ll be forever grateful for these opportunities granted bythe MN Blues Society.


Archives, Historical Interests

Sue Bujold, Vice President

Term Ends: 12/31/2024

I am proud to be a member of the board since my appointment in 2019. I will continue my work in making this organization the best it can be. 

I love to meet folks at events and share this wonderful organization with new people. 

As Vice President my responsibilities include: creating and managing the new website and increasing the use of Social Media to inform our membership.  I am an avid user of technology to make tasks more efficient. I hope to make MnBS even better for the folks who will follow me.

I am a retired middle school choir educator and a classically trained musician but I have always loved blues music. As an educator I was a Building Technology Specialist and an Apple Educator. 

I will continue to bring the organizational, project completion, technology, and communication skills that I developed as an educator to the work of the board.


Communication and Marketing, Event Planning

Todd Huttner, Treasurer
Term Ends: 12/31/2024

I am happy to be the most recent appointee to a seat on the Minnesota Blues Society’s Board of Directors.

I hope to bring my varied background and skills (Army musician, local band stage manager/roadie, electronic and laser technician, and current work as an audio-visual technician) to use for the betterment of the blues music scene in Minnesota.

I look forward to meeting new friends and blues family at upcoming events and festivals.



Financial Records and Information 

Deb Hills, Recording Secretary

Term Ends: 12/31/2024

It has been a joy to serve on the board since 2008. I serve the MnBS Board of Directors as  secretary, which keeps me updated of everything that is going on.

 I look forward to continuing to serve as a director, volunteer, and member of various committees. I do much of the graphics work for the society, which helps keep the Minnesota Blues Society visually present as well as promoting the fabulous musicians we work with.

I enjoy volunteering at the events and meeting new people within the blues community. We have such a strong blues presence in the Twin Cities and it is my hope that we can spread out our mission of supporting the blues culture throughout the entire state on Minnesota.



Monthly Minutes and Records, Marketing and Merchandise

John Hogg, Director

Term Ends: 12/31/2024

I love the blues and I have been involved with the Minnesota Blues Society since 2016 and have taken on the Chairman duties of the Membership Committe.

I became a Lifetime Member October of 2016. 

It has been very rewarding to be able to manage the membership of the Society, which I expect to be able to continue doing for the foreseeable future. In our last Board of Directors meeting due to a vacancy that has occurred I volunteered to be a director to fill that vacancy until the end of that term.

The board has accepted me for this directorship. I will continue to perform my role as Chairman of the Membership Committee. I look forward to working with the board and members of the Society.


Membership Services

Lynne Oldre-Mortenson, Director

Term Ends: 12/31/2025

I have been an avid music fan from a very young age, as my parents always had music in our home. Dad loved the old style country, and mom loved Nat King Cole, etc. I dabbled in piano and chorus while in school, but never felt the drive to excel or perform myself.

My adult career path led me to graphic design. I worked for several newspapers, ad agencies, and finally as recruitment design specialist with Mayo Clinic until my retirement late in 2020.

Over the last 30 years I became increasingly involved with helping to promote live music in the southern Minnesota area. I was asked to contribute an article each month to his successful monthly Blues Bugle magazine. When the Blues Bugle discontinued, John Hammer asked me to help him get his new venture Blue Monday Monthly off the ground.

Around this time the concept of Hambone Blues Jam was being developed as a one day music event in Austin, MN. This led to me being asked by a founder to volunteer my services first as a graphic designer, then assisting on the day of the event. I was asked to serve on the board of directors. By year six, I was asked to take over as president.


Sponsorship Program, Social Media

Marty Henschel, Director
Term Ends: 12/31/2024


I’ve been interested in the blues since the early 70’s when I used to lie awake late at night listening to radio stations such as WLS out of Chicago and hearing shows like “King Biscuit Flour Hour”. Got my first harmonica from an uncle when I was about 12 and played it on and off (mostly off) ever since.

I volunteered at the Whole Coffeehouse at the U of M while a student and was blessed to hear such artists as Sonny Terry and Brownie Mcghee and Corky Siegel in such an intimate venue. I loved wandering the West Bank and bumping into guys like “Spider John Koerner” who was recently inducted into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame.

Spent about 40 years in the business world and raising a family. Since my retirement I’m enjoying the vibrant local blues music scene catching gigs whenever I can and trying to improve my rudimentary blues harp skills.

I’ve been proudly serving on the Board since January. It provides a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of the Minnesota Blues Society.





Barry Tannenbaum, Director
Term Ends: 12/31/2025

I am so glad that Minnesota has such an amazing music scene.

Originally from NY I am amazed at the amount of great music and supporters of the Blues that we have here.
The Blues scene here has been a big part of my life for the last 10 years and brought myself and my wife a wonderful community and friendships; as well as the honor to be part of this scene. Community is key. 

Being a director of the Minnesota Blues Society and supporting the Blues is an honor and privilege. MNBS belongs to the members and that is what makes it great!


Road to Memphis Competition

Dan Schwalbe, Director
    Term Ends: 2024

I’m honored to be asked to serve on the board of the MNBS.

I’ve been a music fan all my life. I’ve been a Blues fan since, as a youngster, I heard Minnie Mouse sing St. Louis Blues on a set of Disney 78s we had around the house. 

Serving as a director of any kind is a new experience for me. I’m looking forward to working with the board, and hope I can make positive contributions to the society.


Hall of Fame 

Members of the Board are volunteers who are elected to a two year term. 

Each board member chooses a focus area for their work for the MnBS. 

Board meetings are held the second Thursday of each month on Zoom.

Meetings are open to the public.


See the Blues Calendar listing for any monthly meeting for information on how to join a meeting.