Board of Directors

Stacy McClendon, Board Chair

Stacy McClendon









Jana Larson, Vice-Chair


Scottie Hall, Director

Ramesh Sairam, Director

I have been part of the Common Ground sangha since 2006 and joined the Board of Directors in 2016.  I am a Geriatric psychiatrist and have a deep professional interest in understanding the complex and dynamic interplay between our minds and bodies that often underlie many physical and mental health illnesses.  My spiritual practice too is guided by the BuRamesh Sairamddha’s advice about the deep wisdom inherent in our bodies – “within this very fathom-long body, with its perceptions and inner sense, lies the world, the cause of the world, the cessation of the world and the path that leads to the cessation of the world.”  I share some of my experiences through workshops at Common Ground on mindfulness and chronic pain, and finding wisdom in our bodies.
I am drawn to Buddha Dharma by the simplicity and universality of its message, and its focus on practice and self-reliance, without the compulsion to believe specific creeds or dogmas.  I especially value the importance given to ethical conduct, compassion and generosity.

Dave Halsey, Treasurer

I have been practicing meditation and studying the Dhamma at Common Ground since 2007.  I am a regular participant in the Buddhist Studies program, where I frequently serve as program host.

The foDave Halseycus of my current meditation practice is sustaining awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings through loving-kindness, and the present-moment calm that results from this realization.

I appreciate the many opportunities for retreat practice at Common Ground, including in-center retreats, residential retreats at Holy Spirit, and I am especially grateful for retreat practice at Common Ground’s Prairie Farm.

I have served on the Common Ground Board of Directors since 2015, and previously served on the Board’s Finance Committee. Additionally, I have supported the development of Common Ground’s Prairie Farm retreat property by leading the Planning Committee, and serving as the Board liaison for the Prairie Farm leadership team.

I am married, and have two young adult sons.  In early 2015 I retired from Fraser, a nonprofit social service agency. (August 2015)

Gabe Keller, Secretary

I have been coming to Common Ground since 2008, when I was in high school and stumbled across the teachings of the Buddha. Since then, I have been a dedicated practitioner and have experienced increasing freedom and connection in my life.

Gabe KellerI enjoy sharing the Dharma in different contexts. For example, I led a meditation group while a student at Carleton College. Later, I volunteered in a Minnesota prison to meditate with inmates, and I currently lead the quarterly Young Adult retreat at Common Ground with Shelly Graf. I’m very excited to see more young people deepen their practice and engagement with Common Ground. I’m also very excited by the community’s deepening commitment to exploring issues of cultural conditioning and inclusivity. I think the context of our practice of mindfulness and compassion is perfect for exploring and healing the painful ways we create separation around difference.

My involvement with Common Ground also includes serving as a coordinator for the Common Ground Music Festival. I’m a musician and songwriter and I love supporting this beautiful celebration of generosity. I view being a Common Ground board member as a great honor and as an opportunity to give back to a community that has given me so much. (August 2015)

Mark Nunberg, Guiding Teacher

What Once Was Is NowI began my practice in 1982 and have been teaching meditation since 1990. I co-founded Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis in 1993 with Wynn Fricke and continue to serve as the center’s Guiding Teacher. I have studied with both Asian and Western teachers and find deep inspiration in the teachings of the Buddha. I practiced as a monk for five months in Burma and completed four three-month retreats at Insight Meditation Society Retreat Center, as well as many months of intensive retreat practice at The Forest Refuge. I continue to be a grateful student of Buddhist practice.