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Speaker Bios

Keynote speaker Alan Cantor is principal of Alan Cantor Consulting LLC, where he helps community-based nonprofits with strategy, development and governance. In his practice Alan draws on over thirty years of executive and volunteer experience in the nonprofit world. Alan is a frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Inside Philanthropy. Alan has gained a reputation as one of the nonprofit sector’s most insightful and thought-provoking commentators, and he has been cited in The New York Times, Barron’s, Pro Publica, The Boston Globe, The Daily Beast,, Vanity Fair, Advancing Philanthropy, The Nonprofit Times, Boston Business Journal, and Boston Magazine.


Breakout Session Presenter Bios

Roxie AlexanderRoxie Alexander is controller for Greater Twin Cities United Way (GTCUW), a nonprofit dedicated to uniting caring people to build pathways out of poverty. In her role at GTCUW, Roxie leads the day to day operations of the finance team, ensuring that the organization’s $93 million are accounted for appropriately. She’s been in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years. Prior to being at GTCUW she worked at various direct service agencies in the Twin Cities. Roxie has a deep understanding of the importance of being fiscally responsible and ensuring that donor dollars are accounting for properly. Her other passion lies in the area of innovation and efficiency. Roxie holds a B.S. in accounting from Rasmussen College.

Steve AnsethSteve Anseth, certified public accountant, is a partner at Abdo Eick & Meyers (AEM), a top accounting firm located in Minnesota. In his role at AEM, Steve leads the firm's nonprofit segment. Steve and his team work with over 100 nonprofit organizations from the metro area and outstate Minnesota. He helps nonprofits succeed by improving their operations and internal controls. Prior to becoming a public accountant, he spent 12 years with a large national nonprofit organization. This experience gave him an in-depth understanding of how—and why—nonprofits operate. He has more than 25 years of experience working in and for nonprofit organizations. Steve holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. in theological studies from Bethel Seminary.

Scott ArtleyScott Artley is the executive artistic director of Patrick’s Cabaret, a queer-led, community-driven performance art incubator entering its third decade supporting artists on the edge of culture. Taking on the organization's senior leadership role in 2016 after serving as performing arts curator since 2014, he works to assert a new organizational identity and business model in this period of intense social change. As an arts administrator, he has worked at the Southern Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre, the Walker Art Center, and as an independent consultant for a number of small organizations. He maintains an active parallel career as an independent performance artist and cultural producer.

Amy BabcockAmy Babcock, certified public accountant, is a manager with SDK CPAs. She has over ten years of accounting and auditing experience, with a focus on financial statement audits of nonprofit organizations. Her goal is to help her clients get their accounting right and make their internal controls strong. She is a graduate of Iowa State University, a member of The American Institute of CPAs’ Not-for-profit section, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Nonprofit Financial Group of the Twin Cities. She has participated in the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Twin Cities program and is a former chair of the Minnesota Society of CPAs Young Professionals Group leadership committee. She currently serves as treasurer of Emma Norton Services.

Jake BlumbergJake Blumberg is the executive director of GiveMN. Jake believes that a successful strategy, campaign, and message can expand the impact of the nonprofits doing incredible work in our communities. Jake has a background that spans leadership roles in nonprofits, politics and higher education. As the senior director of development and community engagement at Open Arms of Minnesota, Jake launched giving campaigns that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. As co-finance director of Minnesotans United, he helped lead a multimillion dollar campaign to win the freedom to marry for same sex couples in Minnesota. And in Washington D.C., Jake concurrently attained a master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University while working as a speech writer and associate director of development for The George Washington University Law School.

Molly ChaseMolly Chase’s consulting services include change management, financial leadership, business plan writing and strategic planning. Her experience includes ownership of two companies, over four years as managing director of Springboard for the Arts, and 12+ years development of new products for Discovery Communications and Turner Broadcasting. She currently serves as the managing director of HUGE Improv Theater, where she helped the nonprofit theater eliminate its construction debt and build a three-month working capital reserve within its first two years. While at HUGE, Molly has built two highly effective three-year strategic plans, distilling mission into actionable steps with programmatic milestones and financial forecasts. She regularly performs, directs and teaches improv at HUGE Theater. When not performing or working in arts administration, Molly is the co-host of Totes Recall, a comedy podcast.

Heidi ChristiansonHeidi Christianson is a shareholder at Nilan Johnson Lewis PA and chair of the firm's corporate practice group. Heidi counsels nonprofits, associations, and health care providers on compliance, governance, tax and corporate matters. Heidi has worked with nonprofits in private practice since 2004. Before that, Heidi regulated nonprofits as an attorney in the Charities Division of the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Heidi is co-chair of the Nonprofit Corporations committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association, former chair of the Charities Review Council of Minnesota board of directors, and a current member of the board of MAP for Nonprofits.

Gabe CohenGabe Cohen is the senior director of marketing and communications for GuideStar, the world’s largest hub of information about nonprofit organizations. In this capacity, Gabe leads a team responsible for telling GuideStar’s story; advancing its vision; sustaining awareness of its mission; increasing adoption of its programs; and widening its visibility with key stakeholder audiences. He oversees strategy and implementation of all GuideStar brand activities including marketing collateral, webinars, email, social media, blog, content creation, earned media and digital resources. Gabe is the project lead for major GuideStar initiatives including the Overhead Myth, GuideStar for Grant Applications, and encouraging nonprofits to update their GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles. He brings a diverse and creative background to GuideStar’s marketing and communications team, graduating with a degree in architecture from Virginia Tech.

Deborah CushmanDeborah Cushman is the associate director for the Minnesota Literacy Council. Her responsibilities include managing the human resources, technology, finance and facilities functions; she also identifies new growth opportunities. Debbie joined the Literacy Council in 2006 and has over 20 years of human resources and management experience, including previous positions in the nonprofit sector. Debbie spent two years living in Mexico, studying Spanish and working in human rights with local nonprofits. Earlier in her career, she worked in a corporate manufacturing setting and in the public sector. Debbie currently serves on the board of the Park Bugle, a nonprofit community newspaper. She has a B.A. in international relations and an M.S. in human resources management, both from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Rebecca FieldRebecca Field is a manager in the nonprofit and government group at CliftonLarsonAllen. She has over 12 years of public accounting experience and working exclusively with nonprofit and government organizations. She specializes in grant compliance, including single audits, and has extensive knowledge in related regulations and requirements. Rebecca also serves as a firm-wide assurance resource where she oversees compliance with professional standards, provides technical assistance, and assists with training curriculum. She has a bachelor of accounting from the University of Minnesota – Duluth and a bachelor of business administration, management information systems from the University of Minnesota – Duluth. Rebecca is a certified public accountant.

Chris FischbachChris Fischbach became publisher of Coffee House Press in 2011, after 16 years in various editorial roles. He has served as co-chair of the Minneapolis Arts Commission and as assistant director of the Twin Cities Book Festival. Chris recently served on the board of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library. He is currently on the board of the Minnesota Prison Writing Worksop. Coffee House Press is a nonprofit literary publisher of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

Megan Genest TarnowMegan Genest Tarnow is the founder and Principal of The Mobius Group, a QuickBooks-centric consulting firm ferociously committed to helping nonprofits tell their stories and advance their missions through rock-solid, actionable financials, and to supporting the individuals in those organizations who have financial responsibilities. Megan also works with Gregg Bossen of QuickBooks Made Easy, providing QuickBooks technical support to nonprofits around the country.

Kate GilletteKate Gillette
is a vice president in Avison Young’s Minneapolis office where she specializes in commercial real estate transaction management, marketing, financial analysis and research. Kate began her career by learning about the fundamentals of buildings while getting a degree in architecture. Her subsequent positions working with a design firm and an urban property brokerage have given her a unique ability to understand each organization’s individual needs. Clients benefit from working with a professional who actively leads and delivers a flexible suite of services. She and her team utilize consistent processes to transform client’s real estate into a distinct, competitive advantage. Based on her significant experience working with nonprofits and not-for-profit organizations, Kate recently founded a nonprofit practice group within Avison Young to help better serve this community.

Lori GleasonLori Gleason has spent the last three years guiding the turn-around of St. Paul Ballet from debt to health. This new career utilizes the experience gained over 22 years helping established nonprofits, companies and educational institutions in strategic planning for marketing and communications by identifying and analyzing target audiences, crafting communications, designing and building brand identities, marketing materials, and websites. Strong leadership and interpersonal skills combined with her extensive volunteer experiences in education and the arts have given her a proven ability to develop and guide to a vision and mission, achieve consensus, manage large, complex workloads and deliver results in a wide variety of settings.

Karen GriesKaren Gries is a principal with CliftonLarsonAllen. Her public accounting career includes providing services to a variety of tax-exempt organizations, including governmental entities, charities, foundations, social welfare, business leagues and associations, colleges and universities, health care providers, religious organizations, and others. Karen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is a former member of the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities. Karen is a frequent speaker on exempt organization tax issues for many organizations including the AICPA, multiple state societies of CPAs, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, ASAE, Georgetown Nonprofit Law Conference and others. She has been involved as a volunteer audit committee and board member for multiple organizations. 

Leah Hebert WellesLeah Hebert Welles, is the executive director of Open Arms of Minnesota, a volunteer-driven nonprofit that grows, prepares and delivers over 600,000 nutritious meals every year to individuals living with life threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. She took over at Open Arms in 2013, after leadership positions at myHealth for Teens and Young Adults (formerly the West Suburban Teen Clinic), Midwest Health Center for Women, Pro-Choice Resources, and Sojourner Project, Inc. (for battered women).  Leah’s work attests to her deep commitment to education and access to health care and information for under-served and vulnerable populations. She currently serves on the steering committees for both the Minnesota Cancer Alliance and the Minnesota Hunger Initiative.

Becky JohnsonBecky Johnson is the finance manager for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN). She joined MCN in 2009. Becky is responsible for the daily financial management of MCN as well as monthly, quarterly, and annual financial duties and assists with the financial management of Nonprofit Insurance Advisors. In addition to her financial management duties, Becky responds to accounting and tax inquiries from member organizations. Prior to her work at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Becky was an auditor at a public accounting firm in St. Paul. Becky has served on various boards and committees in the twin cities and enjoys volunteering with nonprofit organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Becky is a certified public accountant.

Craig KeplerCraig Kepler is a partner in Lindquist & Vennum’s real estate practice group and a Minnesota State Bar Association certified real property law specialist. He has more than 25 years of experience with a wide range of sophisticated real estate and commercial transactions. He has represented sellers and buyers, lenders and borrowers, landlords and tenants, and developers in all phases of transactional, litigation and bankruptcy matters. Craig has handled numerous diverse charter-school matters, most of which have involved buying or leasing facilities for the operation of the school. Craig has been involved in creating a number of innovative charter school ownership strategies, working closely with underwriters, developers and the Department of Education. Craig’s structures have enabled charter school projects that might not previously have been possible.

Mary KinderMary Kinder has nearly 30 years of experience as a finance manager in the nonprofit and healthcare sectors. These positions included accounting manager of a large hospital system in Minneapolis; controller of a Minnesota regional HMO; and C.F.O./finance director of four government contract funded Minnesota nonprofits. All positions have included financial reporting, managing the annual audit preparation and budget compilation processes. Mary has also been an adjunct accounting instructor at Century and Saint Paul Colleges over the past 15 years. Courses taught include QuickBooks and Payroll Procedures and Principles of Accounting. She is a certified public accountant (inactive).

Paul KirstPaul Kirst has been the finance manager for the Minnesota Literacy Council since 2012, and before that was the C.F.O. of a $7 million nonprofit education organization. He has 20+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Paul spent four years in Latin America as a volunteer for a non-governmental organization. He also has 15 years’ experience in the for-profit sector as an auditor and the C.F.O. of a manufacturing company. Paul has served as a board member for five different nonprofit organizations. He is currently on the board of an organization doing community development work in Zambia. He was the treasurer on the board of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute. Paul has a B.S. degree in business administration and economics from Wayne State College and has a CPA certificate.

Curtis KlotzCurtis Klotz is the finance director of Nonprofits Assistance Fund. He oversees the organization’s financial activities and is a member of the training and consulting team. Curt has worked in nonprofits for over 25 years, both in program and financial management. Prior to his current position, Curt served as vice president of finance and administration for CLUES, and as director of finance and administration at the Indian Law Resource Center in Montana. Curt is a past chairperson of the Montana Nonprofit Association (MNA). He has provided management consulting and accounting for a variety of nonprofits, was an adjunct faculty member at Carroll College, and has presented financial management seminars at Carroll and for the MNA Annual Conference. Curt is a certified public accountant and a graduate of St Olaf College.

Amanda LaGrangeAmanda LaGrange is the C.E.O. of Tech Dump, a division of Jobs Foundation, and a nonprofit providing job training and practical experience for adults facing barriers to employment that prepares them to be more valuable employees with an expanding future. After six years with General Mills in corporate finance, Amanda joined Tech Dump as the director of marketing in 2013. Amanda, passionate about the dignity and hope jobs provide for adults facing barriers to employment, was a founding board member of the nonprofit in 2010. The Minneapolis- St Paul Business Journal recognized her as a “Top 50 Women in Business” in 2014. She stepped into the C.E.O. position in 2015, excited to continue to grow Tech Dump’s social and environmental impact.

Tammy MattonenTammy Mattonen is a certified public accountant with experience in auditing, nonprofit consulting and tax preparation. She holds a master’s in public and nonprofit administration from Metropolitan State University. Her current board positions include Great Minds Learning Center and The Arrowhead Regional Arts Board. Tammy has also served as a panelist for the State Arts Board. For the past six years Tammy served as finance director for the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. Tammy was very involved in operational management using financial information to help guide the organization. Most recently, Tammy has established a consulting service to help nonprofits in capacity building.

Jamie MillardAs the executive director of Pollen, Jamie Millard leads the development, implementation and sustainability of the organization’s core strategic activities including sharing the stories of local leaders, linking people to opportunities, and hosting events where essential conversations happen. Jamie has been identified as a “2015 40 Under 40” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, as a “100 People to Know in 2015” by the Twin Cities Business Magazine, and as one of four millennial leaders “doing important work to move us toward a more just and equitable society” by the Huffington Post. She is also a current member and former board chair of YNPN – Twin Cities. In 2009, Jamie co-founded the literary arts magazine Paper Darts, which is now a premier Twin Cities literary institution.

Larry MohrLarry Mohr is a tax partner with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP. Prior to joining Baker Tilly, Larry spent 20 years at an international firm providing tax-related services to not-for-profit organizations. He frequently consults with clients on a variety of topics, including unrelated business income issues, alternative investments, tax-exempt bond compliance, deferred compensation and related disclosures, foreign disclosures and other matters.


Michelle NessMichelle Ness has served as the executive director for PRISM for four years. Michelle has experience leading programs including case management, refugee resettlement, evaluation, housing, employment and more. Located in Golden Valley, PRISM is the food shelf for the local five city area and operates a social enterprise, the Shop for Change Thrift Shop. The Shop is open to the public and serves both the mission and financial needs of the organization. Michelle has a master’s of social work and is a licensed independent social worker.

Glyn NorthingtonGlyn Northington is the special initiatives director at Nonprofits Assistance Fund. Glyn’s career has been dedicated to working with and for nonprofit organizations. From his days as a college marketing professor, he went on to hold marketing management positions at nonprofits including the Guthrie Theater and Minnesota Opera. At Target, he worked to promote the company’s support of nonprofits in local communities across the country and managed its national arts and food philanthropic portfolios. At Nonprofits Assistance Fund, he uses his passion for relationship development, teaching and training to assist nonprofits in achieving their missions.

Janet Ogden-BrackettJanet Ogden-Brackett directs all program activities, manages the loan program, and oversees the financial management of training and strategic financial counsel for Nonprofits Assistance Fund. In this capacity she brings further cohesion and integration to services, helping the lending team assess each nonprofit’s unique financial situation and craft loans that best meet their immediate and long-term needs. She also delivers training workshops and provides technical assistance on financial management topics to nonprofits throughout Minnesota. Prior to her current position, Janet was director of operations and financial manager at Minnesota Environmental Initiative. She has a B.A. in business management from the University of St. Thomas. A graduate of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Leadership Institute, Janet serves on the board of directors for LegalCorps, Family Tree Clinic and The Textile Center.

Trina OlsonTrina Olson is the executive director at PFund Foundation. A seasoned strategist, leader, activist and organizer, prior to PFund Trina served as both deputy executive director and interim executive director for Immigration Equality. Trina’s organizing career includes advocating for trans-inclusive non-discrimination, marriage equality, adoption policy and health care access at The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Equality California, Family Equality Council and Washington Citizen Action. Trina is particularly interested in the ways that local, regional, national and international progressive movement strategies can intersect.

Tarrah PalmTarrah Palm is executive director at ResourceWest. ResourceWest is a nonprofit community agency that serves low-income families and individuals living in the west metro community. Tarrah has worked at ResourceWest since July of 2014 as the program specialist, coordinating ResourceWest’s children’s programs, community collaborations and volunteers.


Jon PrattJon Pratt is the executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. He has worked at Minnesota Public Interest Research Group as an attorney and lobbyist, as regional director at the Youth Project, and as director for the Philanthropy Project. In 1982 he was campaign manager for Paul Wellstone candidacy for Minnesota State Auditor. In 1987 he became director of MCN, an association of 2,000 organizations that sponsors research, training, lobbying and negotiated discounts to strengthen Minnesota's nonprofit sector. Jon has consulted with nongovernmental organizations on the development of NGO associations and services in Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Turkey. Jon has a law degree from Antioch School of Law, and a M.P.A. from Harvard University.

Rinal RayRinal Ray is the deputy public policy director at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Rinal works with MCN’s public policy director to advance the organization’s policy agenda and train leaders on nonprofit advocacy. Prior to her role at MCN, Rinal served as a staff attorney for the Minnesota Justice Foundation at William Mitchell College of Law. As former project coordinator for MCN, she also worked on the Charitable Tax Exemption Campaign and the Nonprofit Legal Handbook. Additionally, Rinal served on MCN’s board of directors in 2013 and as a co-chair of the Principles and Practices Advisory Committee. Rinal is a former AmeriCorps member with College Possible. She has a B.A. in international studies and political science from Macalester College and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

Kelly RietowKelly Rietow helps leaders and organizations create simple and sustainable solutions to people and process challenges. She excels in aligning human resource and performance management systems with organizational strategies. With broad-based expertise in human resources, organizational development, facilitation and leadership, Kelly helps leaders and organizations be accountable and effective. Kelly has a particular passion for optimizing the performance of nonprofits and organizations experiencing growing pains. A two-time recipient of the Employers Association Best Practices Award, Kelly earned her M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and the professional in human resources certification through the Society for Human Resource Management.

April RiordanApril Riordan is the vice president of research, evaluation and special projects at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. April is a masterful connector and enjoys bringing talented people together to tackle issues collaboratively. She is deeply committed to causes that address social justice and curious about how generosity intersects with our ability to achieve equity. April is mission and purpose driven always and values courage, transparency, equity, efficiency and joy.

John SkillingsJohn Skillings is an accounting and finance consultant for MAP for Nonprofits. John is a seasoned professional who enjoys helping nonprofit organizations with their finance and accounting needs. Like other MAP accounting consultants, he understands the relationship between good finance/accounting systems and practices and mission success.


Kathleen StephanKathleen Stephan is treasurer of the board of directors for the Pine River-Backus Family Center (PRBFC) in Pine River. She is an active volunteer in the PRBFC’s programs and is involved with the day to day operations, working closely with the executive director on marketing, strategic planning, managing fund raising efforts and determining direction for the Center. Kathy is the former executive director for Crisis Line & Referral Service and financial officer for three different nursing homes. Volunteering has always been a part of her life starting in childhood. Volunteering has allowed her to observe many different administration styles for smaller nonprofits. Currently, Kathy also writes a weekly article for the paper in order to bring public awareness and support for the Family Center.  

Tom ZimmermanTom Zimmerman, marketing and communications manager leads GiveMN’s marketing and communications outreach to donors and nonprofit and school administrators. He joined GiveMN in 2015, coming from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, where he managed marketing and communications across several brands, including Georgia Gives, an online platform for Georgia nonprofits to raise money on Georgia Gives Day and all year round. Tom received a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Lynchburg College. Tom also serves on the board of directors for Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities.

Corrie ZollCorrie Zoll joined the staff of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in 2015 as executive director. Corrie has more than 20 years of experience in arts and nonprofit management as an artist, program director, development professional, community organizer, board member and organizational leader. He has an M.A. in arts and cultural management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and a B.A. in theater from Grinnell College.

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Nonprofit Finance and
Sustainability Conference

April 13, 2017
7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Earle Brown Heritage Center
6155 Earle Brown Dr. 
Brooklyn Center, MN 



Minnesota Council of Nonprofits


Thank You to Our Sponsors