Mayor Rybak Appoints Barbara Butts Williams, Bill McCarthy to Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority

Capella University executive and labor-federation president to represent Minneapolis on new authority

June 13, 2012 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak today appointed Dr. Barbara Butts Williams, a Capella University dean, and Bill McCarthy, president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, to the newly-formed Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. The authority will build, own and operate the new stadium in downtown Minneapolis. By statute, Mayor Rybak appoints two members of the five-member authority.

“We now have the opportunity to transform a key district of downtown Minneapolis and build a place that will bring people together for a generation, with the new authority charged with leading Minnesota through this process,” Mayor Rybak said. “Barbara Butts Williams and Bill McCarthy bring strong qualifications and important voices to the table, and will represent Minneapolis residents, taxpayers, workers and visitors very well.”

Barbara Butts Williams

Since 2009, Dr. Barbara Butts Williams has served as dean of the School of Education at Capella University, where she has worked since 2002 in a variety of leadership positions. She has more than 40 years of executive and management experience in the public, private and higher-education sectors. In the private sector, she has worked as a top executive at The St. Paul Companies (now Travelers), Control Data (now Ceridian) and Wilson Learning Corporation. She also founded Growth Partners Consulting, which provides strategic planning, talent assessment and organizational development to small and medium-sized organizations.

In higher education, her experience includes service at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, Metropolitan State University, the University of Michigan’s Graduate School of Business Administration and Harvard University’s Media and Publishing Group.

In addition, Dr. Butts-Williams served on the Metropolitan Council in the 1990s, as Governor Arne Carlson’s appointee to the district that included Downtown Minneapolis, North Minneapolis and parts of South Minneapolis.

Dr. Butts Williams is active in community service. She currently serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, the Northside Economic Opportunity Network and the Northside Achievement Zone, all in Minneapolis. Her past service has included membership on the boards of the Hennepin County Library Foundation and the Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation.

Dr. Butts Williams, who holds two master’s degrees and a Ph.D., lives in North Minneapolis with her husband, Dr. John Williams, D.D.S. For many years, Dr. Williams has practiced dentistry on West Broadway in North Minneapolis, where is also active in community service. He is a veteran of the National Football League, having played for 12 years with the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Colts before retiring in 1980.

Dr. Butts Williams will serve the term that ends on December 31, 2015.

“We have an awesome opportunity to build a world-class facility for the Vikings and the community at large, and to revitalize the east side of downtown Minneapolis. I am keenly interested in Minneapolis’ continued development as a global city with amenities that delight fans, attract new businesses and bring good, new jobs to Minneapolis,” said Dr. Butts-Williams.

Bill McCarthy

Since 2002, Bill McCarthy has served as the president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, which represents 75,000 workers from more than 100 affiliated unions, including construction workers, teachers, nurses, service workers and others.

For the last 10 years, McCarthy has also served on the Board of Directors of Greater Twin Cities United Way. Earlier this year, he won a national United Way award for labor leadership, the Joseph A. Beirne Community Services Award. Additionally, he is chairman of the board of Working Partnerships, Inc., a nonprofit he founded in 2006 to serve union members in need and their families.

McCarthy is a Vietnam veteran and a graduate of the University of Minnesota. Before becoming a labor leader, he worked in patient care in area hospitals, with special-needs children in Dowling School in North Minneapolis, and as a bartender. He previously served as president of UNITE HERE Local 17, which represents workers in the hospitality industry in Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

McCarthy will serve the term that ends on December 31, 2016.

“We are entrusted to give Minnesota a new, world-class sports facility in which we can all take pride, a facility that we will be working to deliver on time and on budget. I will be an advocate for the interests of Minneapolis and for workers as we build the stadium that will create thousands of construction jobs and help support thousands more jobs on an ongoing basis,” McCarthy said.


Contact: John Stiles, Communications Director, Office of Mayor R.T. Rybak, (612) 673-3665 office,

(612) 581-1788 mobile