Republican National Convention host committee chair Cyndi Lesher to speak May 2 St. Thomas Newsroom April 16, 2008 Republican National Convention host committee chair Cyndi Lesher to speak May 2 Xcel Energy executive Cyndi Lesher, who is serving this year as president of the Minnesota host committee for the Republican National Convention to be held in St. Paul Sept. 1-4, will be the final speaker in the St. Thomas Alumni Association’s 2007-2008 First Friday luncheon-and-speaker series. The luncheon begins at noon Friday, May 2, at Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel, 11 E. Kellogg Blvd. Lesher is president and CEO of Northern States Power Company-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. Active in the community, she chaired the Governor’s Workforce Development Council, was inducted into the Women’s Economic Roundtable and is a regent emeritus at the University of Minnesota. She serves on the boards of Alliant Techsystems, the American Red Cross of the Twin Cities Area, the Juran Quality Institute at the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the St. Paul Foundation and the St. Paul Riverfront Corp. She also is a member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. Lesher has a bachelor’s degree from Drake University and a master’s degree from St. Cloud State University; she also completed the Master of Excellence Program at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. As a loaned executive to the convention host committee, a bipartisan group of civic and business leaders, Lesher works full time on planning and logistics for the months up to and including the convention. During the convention, the state will welcome some 45,000 visitors, including 2,000 convention delegates, 15,000 members of the media and 25,000 family, guests, volunteers and security personnel. On first Fridays of each month during the academic year, the St. Thomas Alumni Association’s First Friday Luncheon Series offers lunch and a speaker of current interest. St. Thomas alumni and friends, along with the general public, are invited. Cost of each luncheon and presentation is $25. A limited number of $10 tickets are available to UST students at the St. Thomas Box Office. Reservations for the May 2 luncheon are due Friday, April 25. Early reservations are recommended as these events fill quickly. For reservations and more information, call the St. Thomas Alumni Association, (651) 962-6430, or register online at the association’s Web site, http://www.stthomas.edu/alumni.