Midwest Rett Syndrome Foundation Logo

Midwest Rett Syndrome Foundation

Fully committed to improving the lives of all who live with Rett Syndrome

MRSF Board Members

Lisa and Jill Evert
Lisa and Jill Evert

Lisa Evert, President

Lisa Evert has served as a Board Member since the founding of the Minnesota Rett Syndrome Research Association. She served as Secretary from 2002 to 2005, and as President since 2006. Lisa has been active in all aspects of the MRSF's events and activities. She also played a significant role in establishing the relationship with Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, which lead to the opening of a Rett Syndrome clinic at Gillette Children's in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Lisa grew up in Faribault, Minnesota, and graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She has been in the human resources field for more than 16 years. Lisa lives in Faribault with her husband, Chuck and daughter, Jill. Jill was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in 2000.

Lisa is fully committed to the mission of the Minnesota Rett Syndrome Research Association. She believes in the equal importance of funding research while supporting families’ immediate needs through education and advocacy.

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Jason Bennett, Vice President, Webmaster

Jason became involved in the Rett Syndrome community when his daughter, Ashlyn, was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in 2007 at the age of 2.  Ashlyn's symptoms were initially very mild, and seeing other families struggle with such severe medical issues where Ashlyn had relatively few, filled Jason with a strong sense of obligation to step up and do something.  Jason, along with other Rett families in the Mankato area, organized a garage sale that raised $4,000 for MRSF.  In 2008, Jason volunteered to serve as MRSF's webmaster.

In Fall 2008, Ashlyn's relatively mild symptoms changed to very serious, complex medical issues.  Ashlyn developed a rare, medication-resistant form of Epilepsy, known as Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, among a host of other issues. Before, Ashlyn had been a smiling, happy girl who could sit, roll, finger feed herself, and play with toys.  The Rett monster stuck her, and took all those abilities from her.  She has required numerous lengthy hospitalizations and multiple surgeries, and now requires round-the-clock nursing care.

Due to Ashlyn's first hospitalization, Jason's co-workers put on a small chili cook-off to raise money for Rett Syndrome research.  The event raised over $8,000 for MRSF and local veteran's groups.  The annual event now brings in over $20,000 and is attended by around 1,000 people each November.  Jason serves on the event committee for "Mankato's ChiliFest for Vet's and Rett", as well as the board for the non-profit which sponsors the event, Mankato Area Concerns for Special Needs and Public Servants. 

Jason was elected to serve on the MRSF board in 2010.  He is proud to continue serving today, and also serves as webmaster for MRSF.

Jason has proudly served the citizens of Mankato since 2000 as a Police Officer with the Mankato Department of Public Safety, and is currently assigned to the Detective Division.  Jason, his wife Jodi, son Bryan and Ashlyn live in the Greater Mankato area.

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Lynn and Bri
Lynn and Brianna Wise

Lynn Wise, Secretary

Lynn Wise joined the Rett Syndrome community late in the game, with the diagnosis of Atypical (late onset) Rett Syndrome of her daughter Brianna, in 1997.  She initially began volunteering at the MRSRA Annual Golf and Charity Dinner Event, and eventually joined the MRSRA board.  She currently serves in the position of Vice President. 

Lynn graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris, and worked in the Human Resources field for 15 years. She currently resides in Lakeville, Minnesota with her husband of 30 years, Paul, and their daughter Brianna(age 25). Bri has a sister, Rachel, who lives in Alabama.

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Dan and Sara
Dan and Sara Brinkhaus

Dan Brinkhaus, Treasurer 

Dan and his wife Lisa first became enthusiastically involved in the pursuit of a cure, supporting other families and promoting public awareness of Rett syndrome in 2000 when their first child, daughter Sara, was diagnosed with Rett syndrome at age two.

In October of 2001 Dan founded the Minnesota Rett Syndrome Research Association, and with the committed help of other families, the organization now thrives and continues to support families throughout Minnesota, to raise both public awareness and significant funds for important research. 

Aside from his fundraising successes, Dan has zealously spread Rett Syndrome knowledge and increased public awareness throughout the community when and where possible, by way of contributing to numerous interviews and feature stories regarding Sara and his family's challenges with Rett Syndrome with local church, school and statewide radio, television and print news media outlets. 

In addition to his years of service on the board of the Minnesota Rett Syndrome Research Association, Dan currently serves on the board of directors for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.

Dan, Lisa, Sara and son Ryan reside in New Prague, MN, a rural community roughly 30 miles south of Minneapolis.

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Dennis Molinaro, Board Member

Dennis became involved in the Minnesota Rett Syndrome Research Association after his granddaughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in 2001. Dennis was instrumental in chartering MRSRA as a 501(c)(3) foundation. During the past ten years, Dennis has served in several positions on MRSF's board, including Vice President, Secretary, and currently, Treasurer.

Dennis is retired after working many years as a Senior Consultant in the computer business application development field. During his career, Dennis had the opportunity to work with several companies around the North Central states to design, develop and deploy computer based business applications.

Since retiring, Dennis has been enjoying his horses, RV'ing and golfing with his wife, Margaret.

Dennis and Margaret live in New Prague, MN.

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Eli McCausland, Board Member

Elected to board in 2012.  Bio coming soon.

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Luke Knutson, Board Member

Elected to board in 2012.  Bio coming soon.

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