Lois Quam is an internationally recognized visionary and leader on the emerging New Green Economy (NGE) and universal health care reform. She is the founder and CEO of Tysvar, LLC, a newly created, privately held, Minnesota-based NGE and health care reform incubator. Named in 2006 by Fortune magazine as one of America's "50 Most Powerful Women," Quam also cited as an expert on clean technology and NGE in Thomas Friedman's recent best-seller, Hot, Flat and Crowded.
Prior to founding Tysvar in March 2009, Quam was Head of Strategic Investments, Green Economy & Health at Piper Jaffray, a leading international investment bank based in Minneapolis. Quam furthered Piper Jaffray's role in NGE, creating opportunities in four distinct categories: Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy; Redesign of Existing Industries such as water supply, transportation and construction; and Carbon Return/Capture, along with expanding the firm's NGE franchise in Science, Public Policy, and Commerce.
Before joining Piper Jaffray in 2007, Quam was president and CEO of the Public and Senior Markets segment at UnitedHealth Group, a $30 billion division she helped create and run. The segment oversaw Medicare and Medicaid-based businesses with nearly 10 million members, serving approximately one out of five Medicare beneficiaries.
Quam joined UnitedHealth Group in 1989 and was responsible for forming a successful relationship with AARP, providing health insurance to AARP members and overseeing the formation of Ovations, a business segment devoted to providing health and well-being products and service to Americans over 50 years old.
Additionally, in 1989, she was approached by the governor of Minnesota to chair the Minnesota Health Care Access Commission, resulting in new legislation that brought health insurance to tens of thousands of Minnesotans and created the lowest uninsured rate in the country. She also was a senior adviser to First Lady Hillary Clinton's task force on health care reform, with a particular focus on rural areas.
The second of four children and native of rural Marshall, Minn., Quam is the daughter of a Lutheran minister and homemaker. From 1977 to 1984, she held numerous leadership positions within the American Lutheran Church and helped craft the merger of three national Lutheran churches into today's Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
At Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., Quam graduated magna cum laude, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and received Macalester's Distinguished Alumni Award. As a Rhodes Scholar, Quam earned a master's degree in philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford in England.
In 2005, Quam was named Norwegian American of the Year, and actively continues as an emissary for diplomatic and trade relations between Norway and the U.S. She is on the boards of The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights – U.S. Foundation, and the Norwegian American Foundation. Quam's recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Minnesota, Norway and a Clean Energy Future," was commended by Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre as "another illustration of common opportunities" between Norway and America.
Quam serves on the Board of Trustees for Macalester College and the University of Minnesota Foundation, the Board of Directors for General Mills and the National Wildlife Foundation, and the Advisory Board for polar explorer Will Steger's Foundation. She is a trustee emeritus of the George C. Marshall Foundation.
Quam is married to Matt Entenza, the former minority leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives and the founder of Minnesota 2020, a public policy think tank. The couple has been married for 25 years and are the parents of three sons, Benjamin, William, and Steven. The family lives in St. Paul.
See Lois' presentation