2014 Board Candidates

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits’ (MCN’s) recent request for board nominations resulted in a talented and diverse pool of highly qualified applicants. Nine candidates from MCN member nonprofits are nominated, and six will be elected to three-year terms on the 23-person MCN board beginning in January 2015.

On-site voting will be available at MCN’s Annual Conference in St. Paul on November 6 and 7, and on November 10, MCN nonprofit members who did not vote at the conference will receive an email with instructions on how to cast a ballot online. Voting will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 14, 2014. The six candidates receiving the most votes will be elected and announced to all MCN members after the election.


Board Candidates

Bobbi Cordano Jarell Skinner-Roy
Dawn Devine Sheila Smith
Tracy Fischman Chris Taylor
Cathy Maes Fartun Weli
Susie Schatz  

Bobbi Cordano

Vice President of Programs, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, St. Paul, incumbent

“I learned first-hand the importance of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits when I was an Assistant Attorney General in the Charities Division. MCN’s role in influencing policy and increasing the capacity of the nonprofit sector in Minnesota has been instrumental in making this one of the strongest states for nonprofit organizations. If I am re-elected, I will continue my commitment to assure that MCN remains a strong anchor for our nonprofit community in Minnesota and nationally. We can do this by strenthening MCN’s ability to improve our sector’s capacity to respond to the unprecedented challenges and opportunities it faces and by improving the nonprofit sector’s responsiveness to racial and cultural equity.” Read more about Bobbi Cordano »

Dawn Devine

Director, Minnesota Children's Museum of Rochester, Rochester

“As an advocate for the community down in Southeastern Minnesota I can provide support and encourage growth along the vision of MCN. I routinely attend the meetings of Southeast Minnesota executive directors of area nonprofits. I believe that supporting the mission, growth and vision of nonprofits has a direct positive impact on a community. Individuals and areas businesses benefit from having nonprofits grow and flourish. Nonprofits also benefit from collaborations with other non-profits by stream lining services and maximizing grants. I believe MCN provides countless benefits to their members, through professional development seminars, trainings, shared communications, linking area non-profits and providing a site to list positions. As an organization we have used each of these services in our short 2 year history and are always impressed with the results.” Read more about Dawn Devine »

Tracy Fischman

Executive Director, Prepare + Prosper (formerly AccountAbility Minnesota), St. Paul, incumbent

"It is with great enthusiasm that I seek another term on the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) Board of Directors. In my five years with Prepare + Prosper (formerly AccountAbility Minnesota), all of our staff members have greatly benefited from the resources, networking opportunities, and training opportunities offered and produced by MCN. Moreover, I have turned to – and worked closely with – the MCN policy team, including the MN Budget Project staff, on issues related to tax policy for low-income households, the state budget, and related fiscal matters. I remain impressed by MCN’s sector leadership, locally and nationally; representation on behalf of our sector with policy makers and funders; and courageous commitment to practice and public policy that meet the diverse needs and interests of our sector and the people we collectively serve." Read more about Tracy Fischman »

Cathy Maes

Executive Director, Loaves and Fishes Minnesota, Minneapolis, incumbent

“My for-profit work coupled with servant leadership in the schools and city has been a good recipe for success in the social service sector; my current decisions are based on experiences, relationships, and business practices all focused to strategize for our organization’s future. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and governance experience to help shape the future of Minnesota’s non-profit sector. I am a firm believer that we should all learn from each other and when we do our mission becomes clearer, more defined, and focused on those we serve.” Read more about Cathy Maes »

Susie Schatz

Director of Advocacy and Volunteer Services, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, St. Paul

“As a direct practice social worker working directly with people with disabilities, older adults, those with traumatic brain injuries or experiencing mental illness, I gained invaluable insight into the systems that impact the individuals who many nonprofits support. These on the ground experiences laid an ideal foundation for the work I now do in public policy. I bring unique insight into public policy and volunteers connected to LSS’ 24 lines of service, including adoption, services for older adults and people with disabilities, homeless youth, financial counseling, housing, refugee services, behavioral health counseling, disaster services and more. MCN has a proud and influential history. I look forward to contributing to the continued success of the organization and its impact on Minnesota and the nonprofit sector.” Read more about Susie Schatz »

Jarell Skinner-Roy

High School Program Coordinator, College Possible, St. Paul

"“I am truly honored and humbled to be a nominee alongside so many passionate and distinguished nonprofit leaders. I strongly believe that nonprofits in Minnesota would benefit from having greater racial and generational diversity at the leadership level of MCN that is representative of the communities it serves. I can provide a young and diverse perspective that is not just beneficial, but essential to the vision of MCN. I will bring a new voice, new ideas and new viewpoints to the table that will help shape the future of the nonprofit sector in Minnesota. In a few short years, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits will reach their 30-year anniversary. I am eager to step up and work together to ensure that our journey to that milestone is successful and that we can continue to strengthen our nonprofits in Minnesota.”
Read more about Jarell Skinner-Roy »

Sheila Smith

Executive Director, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, St. Paul, incumbent

“I bring twenty years of nonprofit policy experience to the table, as well as a willingness to jump in and roll up my sleeves and to help get the work done. As Executive Director of MCA, I help Minnesota's nonprofit arts organizations find their voices in the public arena. I greatly value the work of MCN and am proud to be a part of it. I've been volunteering for MCN for nearly 20 years, training MCN members how to be advocates, and working with their public policy cabinet and great staff on many different issues. I believe in MCN's mission and that we are stronger together than any one of us would be apart. I hope you'll give me your vote so we can continue this work together.” Read more about Sheila Smith »

Chris Taylor

Head of Inclusion and Community Engagement, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul

“I knew early on that my career would be spent in the nonprofit sector. It is very important for me to feel that my work benefits people everyday. My current job is very fulfilling and, in fact, is my dream job. I entered the museum field as an historian, someone that wanted to tells stories that are typically marginalized by the dominant historical narrative, but I have evolved into a Diversity professional in the true sense of the word. My work now is very much centered on creating change within my organization to create an inclusive culture that will increase our service capacity to keep pace with the rapidly chaining definition of what it means to be a "Minnesotan." I have recently gone back to school to earn a Doctorate of Education in Organization Development to truly round out my education and work experience in order to truly become a change agent working for Diversity and Inclusion. I believe this perspective can help the board stay grounded in the work of helping all Minnesotans." Read more about Chris Taylor »

Fartun Weli

Executive Director, Isuroon, Minneapolis

“With me, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits will get an outspoken, deeply spiritual and dedicated person who is especially concerned with the well-being of our society, particularly with communities of color and the Somali immigrant/refugee community in Minnesota. I have an extensive background in public health and health disparities in women’s health issues. I have a strong sense of self; I don’t fall for group thinking and always want to take on the hard issues such as the inequalities in women’s healthcare and social justice in Minnesota. I bring a vast knowledge of communities of color and immigrants; I would work to build bridges between MCN and communities of color.” Read more about Fartun Weli »

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