Board of Directors

Christopher Johnsen, Director

 Christopher Johnsen graduated from Stillwater Area High School in 2002. After high school, Christopher served in the Army for 4 years.  He was stationed in Vicenza, Italy with the 173rd Airborne Brigade as a Ranger Qualified, Airborne Infantry Team Leader and completed 2 combat tours of duty from 2003-2004 in Iraq and 2005-2006 in Afghanistan. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2010 with a Major in Entrepreneurship. 


Christopher has worked for his family business, St. Croix Recreation Co. Inc. in Stillwater, selling playground equipment and parks supplies since 2006. He is currently the Chairman of the Stillwater Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Group and participates with other community service organizations in Stillwater.

Julie Kilpatrick, Chair

BSN PHN, is currently a Public Health Nurse for Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment.  She has over 30 years of nursing experience including several years in family health home visiting and as a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner for a St. Paul school-based clinic program. Currently she works in public health promotion as a member or facilitator of community coalitions that address either asthma, chemical health or mental wellness.  She is a health enthusiast and life-long learner of holistic health.  She is currently pursuing certification in Mind-Body Skill Group facilitation through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.  She is a board member of Potter’s Farm, an educational and spiritual retreat center near Washburn, Wisconsin. She has lived in Stillwater, Minnesota for many years with her husband and has two adult sons.

Nealee Morrison, Director

After Graduating from White Bear Lake Area High School in 2002, Nealee joined the Army Reserves.  After completing basic training she was deployed to Iraq from April 2003 to April 2004 with the 79th Military Police out of Rochester, Minnesota.  After returning from Iraq she began College at Hamline
University in St. Paul and Graduated in 2008, Majoring in Criminal Justice with minors in Psychology and Women's Studies.  Since Graduating from Hamline University she has been employed with Midwest Monitoring and Surveillance working with a caseload of low level offenders sentenced to Electronic Home Monitoring through Dakota County in Minnesota.  In May of 2011, Nealee finished a 200 Hour Yoga
Teacher Training, and has recently started working as a Yoga Instructor at Inspiring Actions in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Barb Stahl, Director

Barbara Stahl has studied energy systems including Reiki, Triple Helix and Omega for more than 15 years. She is certified as a master teacher in both Reiki and Triple Helix systems and has studied with Rose Amato of Temple Academies at


Barbara applies her energy-based knowledge and skills to work with groups and individuals. She has advanced degrees in education with experience in teaching, and administration. She has worked for the past 35 years as a teacher administrator and a public policy-maker.


Barbara is a nationally recognized trainer and keynote speaker in K-12 education and uses the tools taught in these classes daily to increase her potential to be successful in both her professional and personal life. Barbara has been working to support an infrastructure of staff development and support for paraprofessionals for the past 19 years. While at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Ms. Stahl initiated the Minnesota Paraprofessional Consortium

Barbara conducts energy work nationally and resides in Minnesota.


Gretchen M. Stein, Director

Ph.D. , LISW, CEAP Gretchen M. Stein holds a solid and proven reputation in behavioral health care delivery with over 25 years of experience. She is currently President and CEO of The Sand Creek Group, Ltd., a national Employee Assistance Program and has worked with the Executive Office of the President, United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Interior, Major League Baseball, 81 Minnesota counties, and several hundred public and corporate employers. She is nationally recognized for her skills and success as a program designer, behavioral health care system administrator, and public speaker. Gretchen is a creative thinker and has a gift for taking inspired ideas and translating them into reality.


Dr. Stein holds four degrees from The University of Minnesota including a Masters degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the Department of Family Social Science. She is a Licensed Independent Social by the State of Minnesota, certified nationally as an Employee Assistance Professional, a trained affirmative Prayer Minister and is a Matrix Energetics Practitioner.


Living a life dedicated to love and service, Gretchen has held many community service leadership and Directors positions with: International Rotary at the district and club level, St. Croix Valley United Way, St. Croix Valley Foundation, Tozer Foundation and the Stillwater Area Chamber of Commerce. For 25-years Dr. Stein has personally practiced the healing principals at the foundation of A Place of Grace. Along with David L. Wettergren, Ed.D., Dr. Stein is a co-founder of A Place of Grace."

David Wettergren, Vice Chair

An undergraduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, David received his M.A.and Ed. D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. After a 37-year career in public education, David retired as Superintendent of Schools, Stillwater, Minnesota. Following his retirement David took a position as Senior Vice President of Management Services for Springsted Inc., a public finance firm. More recently he has worked as a consultant to the Sand Creek Group, Ltd., an Employee Assistance Program.


In addition to his career achievements, David has had a long-standing commitment to public volunteer service, including a number of years served as the Chair of Lakeview Hospital and Lakeview Health System. Among other community leadership positions, David has chaired for the Boards of the St. Croix Valley United Way, Stillwater Area Chamber of Commerce and St. Croix Valley Foundation. He has also served in top leadership positions in the Northern State Boy Scout Council and has received one of the biggest honors awarded by the   National Boy Scout of America, Distinguished Eagle Scout.


David is noted for his skills in management, problem solving, writing, and public speaking. David brings to A Place of Grace his knowledge of health, education, and business, along with his current interest in alternative healing modalities including trainings in the practice of Matrix Energetics.