The purpose of the volunteer board of directors is to support the mission of Lupus Link Minnesota. Board members are charged with the responsibility to hold Lupus Link Minnesota in trust with the public interest and to ensure that the organization functions in accordance with its mission statement. Board members are the primary stewards, and strongest advocates, for Lupus Link Minnesota both within and outside of the organization.

Meet Lupus Link Minnesota’s board of directors:


Barbara Schillo, Ph.D. - LLM Board President

Barbara Schillo, Ph.D.

Vice President, ClearWay Minnesota

Dr. Barbara Schillo has over 20 years of experience in conducting applied research, managing research and public health programs, and organizational management and leadership. As Vice President of ClearWay Minnesota, she leads research and cessation programs, coordinates efforts to translate knowledge into initiatives that reduce tobacco use, and provides the organization strategic and administrative leadership. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the North American Quitline Consortium and has served as a community faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Metropolitan State University. Dr. Schillo received her doctorate in community psychology from Michigan State University and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in rural Minnesota, currently resides in Maplewood, and spends as much of her free time as she can on the south shore of Lake Superior.



Ryan Carlson

Director, Treasury & Payment Solutions, BMO Harris Bank

Ryan Carlson is a Director in BMO Harris Bank's Treasury and Payment Solutions business where he advises middle market companies and mid-corporates on cash management best practices. Prior to joining BMO in 2016, Carlson spent 13 years with Wells Fargo in various lines of business, including Treasury Management, Business Banking, Community Banking and Home Mortgage. He is a graduate of Bethel University in St. Paul where he studied Communication and Business. Ryan has been personally impacted by lupus as a close family friend has courageously fought the disease for over a decade. Consequently, Ryan has seen firsthand the critical role Lupus Link Minnesota plays in raising awareness and mobilizing resources to help overcome the challenges lupus presents to those affected. A native of Wadena, he lives with his wife, Amy, and their two children in the Twin Cities.

Member at Large

Emily Gillespie, Ph.D. - LLM Member at Large

Emily Gillespie, Ph.D.

Principal Clinical Evidence Specialist, Medtronic

With 15 years of experience in biomedical research, Dr. Emily Gillespie has a proven track record of driving clinical research and promoting scientific understanding. She joined Medtronic in 2016 as a Clinical Evidence Specialist, supporting the Restorative Therapies Group. Prior to joining Medtronic, she directed a lupus research lab at the University of Minnesota where she joined the faculty in the Department of Medicine in 2006. Dr. Gillespie received a Ph.D. in microbiology, immunology, and cancer biology from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame. She is a native Minnesotan, currently living with her husband and two children in a Twin Cities suburb.  

Member at Large

Russell Betts - LLM Board Member at Large

Russell Betts

Philanthropic Advisor, The Minneapolis Foundation

Russell Betts, who joined The Minneapolis Foundation in 2016, is a Philanthropic Advisor with more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and alumni relations at major research universities. At the Foundation, he focuses on serving the charitable needs of corporate executives, their families, and the companies they lead. Betts comes to the Foundation from the University of Minnesota Foundation, where he served from 2013 to 2016 as a development officer for the university's Department of Medicine. Prior to that, Betts spent a decade at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, where he served as Director of Development covering the Southern United States, then Athletics, and eventually the Law School. He began his career as the Director of Diversity and Assistant Field Representative for the Wisconsin Alumni Association. He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.