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The Team

Joan Johnson

Joan Johnson

Founder, President
Joan is the mother of seven grown children, and grandmother of thirteen. She presently serves on the board of Saint Paul Seminary’s Institute for Ongoing Clergy Formation. Joan helped establish: St. John the Baptist’s Perpetual Adoration, Lake Minnetonka Life-Care Center, and the St. John of the Cross Study Group. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Holy Family High School, Victoria, Minnesota, during the initial phase of its development. She was under the spiritual direction of the late Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M., from 1991 until his death in 2010.

In 1985, she and her husband established, owned and operated a bed and breakfast in Excelsior, Minnesota. Their bed and breakfast was featured in Better Homes & Gardens Magazines, Twin Cities Live TV show, and Better Homes and Gardens Travel show (cable). The Inn closed its doors in 2003 when the property was sold to a developer.

Her brother, Bishop Peter Christensen, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 1985. In addition to serving in parish ministry, he served as rector of the Saint John Vianney College Seminary and was ordained bishop for the Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin, in 2007. In 2014, Pope Francis appointed him as the bishop of Boise, Idaho.
David Johnson

David Johnson

Director of Media
David Johnson is a graphic designer with nearly a decade of experience in the varied fields of digital media with extensive experience in the fields of print design, website design, architectural visualization, photography, 3D modeling and animation, video compositing, editing, animation and special effects. His clients have included Best Buy, Circuit City, HP, Macy's, The Minneapolis Airport Commission, Thrivent Financial, Kerzner International Resorts, as well as many other local businesses, churches, and other non-profit organizations. David has spent the last seven years as a lead broadcast designer at a major cable station where he has successfully spearheaded several branding initiatives for the station and its on-air content.

David and his team have volunteered their time and talents to design and produce all of The CHRISTOPHER INN International videos and the www.christopherinn.org website.

The Family

For nineteen years, Joan and Howard Johnson owned and operated the Christopher Inn Bed & Breakfast in Excelsior, Minnesota. Their seven children grew up in the hospitality business and served in various capacities at the Christopher Inn until the property was sold in 2003. Many of them are now married and involved in various occupations. Together with their spouses, they have been giving of their time and talents to the development of The Christopher Inn International, dedicated to serving Catholic bishops and priests throughout the world.

Board of Directors

Judy Meier

Judy worked for the Dayton Hudson corporation in a variety of positions, including as Senior Training analyst for all systems training. She went on to become a retail training consultant for Dayton Hudson, R. H. Macy’s and Insty Prints. She also authored a state government sponsored program for all nutritionists in the public school system in Georgia. In 1996 she established Apostle Books and Gifts, an independently owned and operated Catholic store in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The store was open from 1996 to 2014.

Joan Grathwol Olson

Joan has more than thirty years experience in nonprofit development and administration working in leadership positions for cultural organizations in Minnesota, including Lundstrum Performing Arts, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She has also supported philanthropy nationally as a fundraising consultant to organizations as varied as the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ, the New Children's Museum in San Diego, CA and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO.

Ann Thelen

Ann was a postulant for the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Alhambra, California. She has since served Catholic youth and young adults, including as a counselor for Catholic Youth Camp (CYC). She has also been a faith formation catechist at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Excelsior, Minnesota, and a personal assistant to the director of the Minnetonka Life Care Center. Ann is the married mother of five young children.

Jon Yanta

Jon graduated from the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing. He began his career in 1986 with CB Commercial, followed by employment with Koll Real Estate (formerly the Shelard Group). In 1997, he joined Cushman & Wakefield as a suburban commercial real estate specialist in sales and leasing. Jon is a member of the Minnesota Commercial Association of Realtors (MNCAR) and the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP). An avid civic contributor, Jon and his wife Kalley have six children and they frequently speak on prayer, pro-life issues and participate in community fundraising efforts.
A gift on the part of laypeople to the Church's priests: a unique international destination offering refreshment, formation and fraternity for Catholic clergy.
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Christopher Inn, Inc.
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