Board of Directors

Jeff Smedsrud

CEO & General Manager

Jeff has played a variety of roles within CA for 38 years. In addition to his work with CA, he has a distinguished career in the insurance industry as an advocate for reform, a senior executive at insurance companies, and as an entrepreneur and leader of marketing agencies. He co-founded, a leading insuretech company for individual health insurance and Medicare, and Pivot Health, a company focusing on niche health insurance solutions. Jeff has written extensively for national publications about health insurance. He is active on several non-profit boards and is a leader of RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit that has erased $10.4 billion of medical debt for more than 7 million individuals. 

Stephen Rufer

Chairman & General Counsel

Stephen is CA’s chairman and general counsel. Stephen is a practicing attorney and lives with his wife, Sandy, in Fergus Falls, Minn. He is a certified civil trial specialist and is on the state Supreme Court roster of approved mediators and arbitrators. Stephen’s hobbies include biking, water sports and flying — he is a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor. He has three adult children, Emily, Sam and Tom. Stephen is active in the community and is currently president of Lake Region Healthcare Corporation. He is also a past president of CA.

Patty Strickland

President & Chief Operating Officer

Patty is president and chief operating officer of CA, and has been with the organization since 1981. Because she has worked in nearly every aspect of the organization, Patty has the knowledge and expertise to lead CA as it continues to grow while providing members with the benefits and service they have come to expect.

Angela Nelson

Chief Financial Officer

Angela is the chief financial officer for CA and has been with the company since 2006. She has served on numerous non-profit boards in both oversight and management capacities. Angela’s no-nonsense approach and attention to detail coupled with her deep sense of commitment and passion for her work have proven to be a valuable asset to all the CA members. Angela lives in Minnesota with her husband Les. She enjoys reading, going for motorcycle rides and spending time with her family

David Ramey

Vice President

David is the owner, with his wife, Carla, and winemaker of Ramey Wine Cellars. He is also a consultant for Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma County. Previously, David directed viticulture and winemaking for Rudd Estate and Dominus in the Napa Valley, and Chalk Hill and Matanzas Creek wineries in Sonoma County. David and Carla live with their children, Alan and Claire, in Glen Ellen, Calif., in the heart of the Valley of the Moon.

Mark Ritchie

Vice President/ General Manager for International Programs

Mark is chair of Minnesota’s World Fair Bid Committee Educational Fund. From 2019 to 2022, Mark served as President of Global Minnesota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to advancing international understanding and engagement. A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Iowa State University, he served as Minnesota’s elected Secretary of State from 2007 to 2015. Since leaving public service, Mark has led the public-private partnership working to bring the 2031 World’s Fair to Minnesota, and he has served on the board of directors of LifeSource, the U.S. Vote Foundation, and Expo USA. Mark is also a national advisory board member of the federal Election Assistance Commission and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Minnesota. Mark is the appointed Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, representing Minnesota. In his role as vice president of the Board, Mark is the lead on matters related to CA’s Exchange Program, including being the primary contact with the U.S. State Department.

Bob Rumpa

Vice President

Bob is the president of Rumpza Consulting, founded in 2007. Bob has worked inside non-profit organizations, corporations, and communications agencies. He formerly served as executive vice president of Weber Shandwick. He has two community service roles in directing AmeriCorps volunteerism in Minnesota. He is a member of the executive committee of the ServeMinnesota board of directors; and is board chair for ServeMinnesota Action Network. He is a University of Minnesota School of Journalism alumnus and is the winner of the coveted Silver Anvil of the Public Relations Society of America for his crisis communications work.