Leadership Conference Web Banner

Registration and Rates Schedule-at-a-Glance  Sessions by Time
About the Conference Attendees  Speaker Bios
Scholarships Download Center  Sponsors
Leadership Awards    


Speaker Biographies

Our keynote speaker is Shena Ashley, director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. She uses research to help nonprofits, governments and foundations achieve outcomes that contribute to healthy, thriving, equitable, inclusive and connected communities. Her work combines academia and practice with a strong orientation toward community-engaged scholarship. Her research focuses on grantmaking effectiveness and nonprofit management and has been published in several journals, including Public Administration Review, Administration & Society, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, New Directions for Evaluation and American Review of Public Administration.

Before joining Urban Institute, Shena was an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Previously, Shena was director of research and policy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site. She received her B.S. in agricultural business from Tennessee State University, M.S. in public policy from the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. in public policy from Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.


David Alley serves as managing partner of Designs for Learning's team of education consultants and managers. He guides Designs' development of new programs and services and provides leadership for its consulting work. He is a member of the Education Industry Association and was a founding member of the national Education Industry Leadership board. Previously he was project coordinator for the Community Learning Centers. Before joining Designs for Learning, David gained experience as an administrator in rural post-secondary education, serving as director of institutional evaluation and planning, associate academic dean, and vice president for student services at a small private college in Arkansas. He was also a systems engineer at IBM and has extensive knowledge of educational technology. David has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Memphis.

jay bad heart bull is the associate director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. In his role at MCN, jay tracks issues related to the nonprofit sector’s workforce, financial structures and regulation, as well as oversees MCN's internal functions such as publishing, training, leadership development and communications. He serves on the board of directors of the City of Lakes Community Land Trust and the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center. jay is a proud graduate of both the Oglala Lakota Tribal College and University of Minnesota. He is a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and also hails from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. jay was selected as a 2014-2016 Business Alliance for Local Living Economies fellow, and is a member of Studio E—a regional think tank of cross-sector leaders.

Kara Bixby is co-owner and evaluation director at WithInsight, bringing expertise in program evaluation, data analytics and research. She is passionate about evaluation capacity building - helping others leverage the power of data and processes to learn and improve their work. Kara has trained hundreds of nonprofit organizations to strategically use data for continuous improvement. Her unique approach to evaluation brings life and new perspectives to traditional evaluation tools like logic models and evaluation plans. Kara believes that when done well, evaluation can give voice to students and families, empower staff to learn and develop their skills, and change systems to become equitable and effective.

Elise Chambers is the program director of the Conflict Resolution Center, an attorney and a qualified neutral under Rule 114. Beginning with her experiences as a youth volunteer trainer, Elise has developed, presented and evaluated training curriculum for a variety of audiences and topics. Through her work as a criminal defense lawyer representing adults and juveniles at the Minnesota Law Collective, a nonprofit she founded, Elise trained and mentored certified student attorneys to represent low-income criminal defense clients in court. Elise also ran the nonpartisan national Election Protection voters' rights coalition in Minnesota in collaboration with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. Elise has also co-authored and presented published research regarding youth brain development and the mutual impacts of the juvenile justice system and adolescent mental illness on each other.

Carlo M. Cuesta is the founding principal and managing partner of Creation In Common. Carlo brings 25 years’ experience working for and consulting with nonprofits. Carlo has worked on engagements with Greater Twin Cities United Way, Scholarship America, Minnesota Children’s Museum, Minnesota Housing Partnership, Youthprise, South Dakota State University, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Saint Paul Foundation, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Opportunity Partners, Phillips Family Foundation, National Council on Family Relations, Pillsbury United Communities, Minnesota State Arts Board and Walker Art Center. Carlo is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota. He serves as vice chairman of the board of directors for the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. In addition, he is a contributing writer to the Nonprofit Quarterly. He received his M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas.

Arnoldo Curiel provides leadership, vision and represents YWCA Minneapolis on racial equity and public policy related issues both locally and nationally. Prior to joining YWCA Minneapolis, Arnoldo worked in higher education for almost 10 years, most recently at the College of St. Scholastica. Prior to his work for St. Scholastica, he served as the diversity training coordinator for the Minnesota Youth Work Institute and managed the Weed and Seed program. Arnoldo is the recipient of several awards, including the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award, Saint Paul Police Department Chief’s Award and the Excellence Award for Service to the Community. He is a graduate of Metropolitan State University. He holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and an educational doctorate from Hamline University.

Eric P. Ewald is the general manager of Ewald Consulting; the executive director of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education; and executive director of the Association of Image Consultants International. Eric joined Ewald Consulting in 1994 and is a partner with the firm. He also serves as the general manager of Ewald Consulting’s Chicago office. He earned his M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where he was a double major in entrepreneurship and strategic management. Eric is Ewald Consulting’s lead facilitator for governance workshops and strategic planning engagements. He is a BoardSource certified governance trainer. Eric previously served as chair of the Midwest Society of Association Executives board and is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives.

Peggy Farah has served as the controller for the Archdiocese of St Paul & Minneapolis since 2013.  Peggy has devoted her 25+ year accounting career to working with nonprofit organizations. Her services have included financial leadership roles within nonprofit organizations and accounting, training, consulting, audit and tax preparation services during her years in public accounting. Prior to joining the Archdiocese, Peggy served as senior consultant at Wipfli LLP and executive director of American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. Peggy is a certified public accountant.

Since 2001 Peter D. Farstad has served as chief administrative officer of LifeSource, the organ procurement organization serving Minnesota and the Dakotas. LifeSource’s mission is to save lives through excellence in organ and tissue donation. He earned a bachelor of science in management from Canisius College and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. Peter is a board member and secretary/treasurer of LifeLogics, Inc. in Baltimore, a nonprofit which builds and maintains data solutions for organ procurement organizations. He is adjunct faculty with Hamline University teaching finance in the Master of Nonprofit Management program. Peter is active in the Twin Cities nonprofit community serving as a board member of Walker Methodist Foundation and as a member of the finance committee of St. Stephen’s Human Service Programs.

Leah Goldstein Moses is the C.E.O. of The Improve Group, an international firm focused on evaluation, research and strategic planning. She and her team have worked with hundreds of clients such as the Kennedy Center, Mercy Corps, which works in over 100 countries and more than 16 million people each year, and Lutheran Social Services. She has gathered knowledge from 16 years helping nonprofits to measure and demonstrate impact, which in turn leads to improved services, innovation and increased ability to build support. She specializes in making evaluation meaningful, engaging, and even fun! Her audiences and her clients rave about her proven methods of taking information and data and simplifying it in such a way so that organizations can sustain impact, make clear decisions and raise funds easier.

Paul J. Hanscom is the vice president of marketing and business development at Ewald Consulting. Previously, Paul worked in project management and implementation for various nonprofits and government institutions including the Bretton Woods Committee, the Customer Relationship Management Unit of the International Trade Administration, and the Latin American Network Project of Casa de la Paz. Paul holds an M.A. degree in international development from the American University and a double B.A. degree. Paul serves as adjunct faculty in the Nonprofit Certificate Program at Saint Paul College. He has served on the board of directors for the Minnesota International NGO Network, Corcoran Neighborhood Organization and the Saint Anthony Park Community Council. Paul earned the designation of certified association executive in 2008, in 2011 he received the CAI National Rising Star award.

Jaylani Hussein is the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Jaylani previously worked as the community liaison officer at Metro State University and as a planner for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. He has presented on the Somali culture to diverse public and private organizations across the U.S. and specializes in the areas of urban planning, community development, youth development, legal and civil rights. Jaylani has been active with various community organizations in Minnesota, including the Islamic Cultural Center of Minnesota board of directors, Wilder Foundation advisory board, Muslim Youth of Minnesota advisory board, Islamic Resource Group speakers bureau, and ARAHA board. Jaylani holds degrees in community development and city planning from St. Cloud State University and political science from North Dakota State University.

Mustafa Jumale is the founder and president of Khyre Solutions LLC. He served for three and half years as Congressman Keith Ellison’s lead aide on foreign affairs, civil rights and civil liberties, public safety, and African issues in his district office. Previously, Mustafa worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives, Wilder Foundation, and the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. Mustafa advocates for progressive policy initiatives that address human rights issues as well as other issues facing people of color. He’s a recipient of the 2011 Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award. Mustafa holds a degree in sociology and African American & African studies from University of Minnesota. He was a 2015-2016 Humphrey Policy fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Policy.

Daniel Lemm joined The McKnight Foundation as an accountant in 2014. Previously, he was the director of programs and finance at Native Americans in Philanthropy. Daniel has served on several local nonprofit boards and, in addition to the Minnesota Council on Foundation’s board, currently serves on the investment committee of Headwaters Foundation for Justice. He holds bachelor’s degrees in finance from Iowa State University and accounting from Metropolitan State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Hamline University. He is also a certified fraud examiner and certified nonprofit accounting professional. Daniel is an enrolled member of the Lower Sioux Indian Community.

Ellen Longfellow is an attorney with over 25 years of legal experience. She has assisted low-income people in need of legal services through a variety of ways. She worked at free legal clinics in Ramsey and Hennepin Counties for the nonprofit Civil Society, Ramsey County Law Library, and Minnesota Legal Corps. Recently, she worked as an advocate for crime victims and elders at the Council on Crime and Justice and the ElderCare Rights Alliance. Ellen is a trainer for the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies. She worked for the League of Minnesota Cities for over 20 years defending cities in civil litigation and as a loss control attorney. She has extensive experience providing training on such topics as harassment, records retention, employment issues and general liability issues.

Rebecca Lucero, public policy director at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s advocacy agenda locally and nationally, and lobbying on behalf of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector. Prior to joining MCN, Rebecca served as policy and advocacy manager for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, where she helped pass $100 million bonding in the Homes for All campaign. Rebecca has also worked as senior community representative in the Minnesota office of Representative Keith Ellison, an unemployment law judge with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and an attorney in private practice with a small firm and with Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis. She has a law degree from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in political science from Grinnell College.

Ivan Lui joined the team at the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth as the data and quality coordinator in 2015. A native Californian, he moved out to Minnesota years ago to work as an engineer. Since then, he's switched gears several times: living overseas doing relief and development work, leading a nonprofit using agricultural business to promote economic development in developing countries, and earning his master’s degree in social work. Ivan brings a unique mix of experience in academic research, project management, economic development and social work to the team. At the Alliance, he is responsible for providing research, data, and evaluation to help everyone understand what is actually happening with their programs and for the youth in their community.

Amir Malik is the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ new civil rights director. He has years of experience in corporate litigation, where his focus was securities and pharmaceutical cases. He has worked at Wall Street law firms in addition to multiple universities. Amir has degrees in political science and education, along with a J.D. from New York University. He enjoys solving problems and helping people to achieve their goals.

Jonathan May is managing director and director of data and research at Generation Next. Jonathan ensures Generation Next staff, committees and networks use data effectively to implement the key goals of the organization. This role also calls on him to manage the strategic direction of all of Generation Next’s data initiatives including leveraging and aligning community data partnerships and leading internal analytical projects. Jonathan came to Generation Next as an experienced teacher, researcher and data analyst. He also has contributed to research and data analytics projects involving the Council for Economic Education and the National Assessment for Educational Progress. Jonathan has dual bachelor degrees in education and economics from Hartwick College and a master of science in applied economics from St. Cloud State University.

Linda S. Miller is principal owner of LNC Strategic Designs. With over 20 years of operations experience, in her current management role at NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center, Linda is responsible for regulatory compliance, quality, patient satisfaction, financial accountability, employee satisfaction and best practices. Her previous experience includes program improvement, staff development, accreditation preparation and new programming. Linda is the lead organizer for many community events and served as co-leader of NorthPoint’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee who received Hennepin County’s Diversity in Action Award in 2015. Linda’s educational background includes coursework from MCTC, certifications from Hennepin County’s Management Institute, Leadership Academy and Leadership Mentoring programs. Linda completed the MCN Strategic Connectors Institute and has extensive training in Diversity and Inclusion. She is a ToP and certified real colors facilitator.

Rachel Mueller is managing editor and event coordinator at Green Card Voices. Rachel is a graduate of Macalester College where she studied anthropology and African studies. She attended Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Swaziland where she lived for two years. She continues to research and write about life on the African continent. Her most recent research included studying a female spiritual belief system in Senegal.

Jennifer Nielsen is director of programs for advantage services at CommonBond Communities. In this role, she is responsible for the design, delivery, management and evaluation of education and advancement as well as health and wellness programs for residents living in CommonBond Communities. Prior to joining CommonBond in 2013, Jennifer was associate director at the Anti-Defamation League in Chicago and agency/school coordinator at Communities In Schools of Chicago. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in Illinois and Minnesota.  Jennifer received her B.A. in elementary education and Spanish from Luther College and her M.B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Debbie Okerlund, executive coach & trainer, coaches leaders, facilitates coaching groups and conducts trainings on coaching skills, transformational communication and team facilitation. She has partnered with leaders to navigate organizational challenges from over 150 nonprofit organizations since 2001. Debbie has 25 years’ experience as a leader and manager including 14 years as executive director in a nonprofit organization. She is a certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, has Authenticity Consulting certification in peer-coaching group facilitation and is licensed to train in Coaching Skills for Managers and Leaders by author and coach, Judith Wilson. Debbie completed advanced training with the Thomas Leonard Graduate School of Coaching and the Coaches Training Institute, is currently enrolled in Conversational Intelligence for Coaches certification program, and has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.

Peter Olsen is the chief financial officer of the YWCA St. Paul and has worked in not-for-profit accounting for 17 years, the first 12 as an auditor. He earned his bachelors of business administration from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. In addition, he stays active in the community by serving as the president of the Nonprofit Financial Group, a 27 year old networking and educational organization for Minnesota nonprofit financial leaders and as the Vice-Chair of Ideal Credit Union. Peter is a certified public accountant.

Brandi Olson is an independent consultant who combines over 10 years of experience teaching, designing professional development, and leading out-of-school-time programs to build the capacity of mission-driven organizations to deepen their impact through agile strategy, practical evaluation and storytelling with data.

Renae Oswald Anderson, partner of Strategic Consulting and Coaching, brings knowledge from over 27 years of leadership and management in health and human service organizations. Renae has extensive experience in program design, delivery and evaluation and community collaborations. She possesses broad nonprofit sector and community building experience in both urban and rural settings. Renae also serves as an adjunct faculty member in human services at Century College. She is passionate about the power of education and training to change people’s lives. Renae possesses a master’s degree in nonprofit and public administration from Metropolitan State University and has a bachelor of science degree in community health with a minor in business administration. In addition, she is a 2008 graduate of the Shannon Leadership Institute and has participated in ToPs facilitation training.

Arbor Otalora-Fadner is the volunteer manager for CommonBond Communities. Prior to his current role, Arbor worked for five years in youth development through CommonBond after-school programming, as well as a year with Goodwill-Easter Seals in HR coordination and training. Arbor is committed to the belief that volunteerism fosters empathy and understanding across social and economic fissures, and uses his work to facilitate the self-healing of a community.    

Joy Persall is the co-director of programs and development at Dream of Wild Health. Joy’s background in nonprofit leadership and consulting help support the organization’s continued growth and development. Joy has been the executive director of Native Americans in Philanthropy and worked as the associate director of The Headwaters Foundation for Justice, where she led capacity building programs and co-founded the Fund of the Sacred Circle. In 2011, she was awarded the Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship where she focused on team process, coaching and indigenous leadership. Joy holds an M.A. in organization management and development and CEBC Coaching certification from Fielding Graduate University, and a B.A. in multi-cultural nonprofit management. Joy has experience in tribal and rural communities, small business, social justice and organizing.

Brenda Petry is an Advantage Services regional manager with CommonBond Communities, a St. Paul-based nonprofit considered a national leader and innovator in the affordable housing and community development field. With over 20 years of wide-ranging experience working with youth and families through nonprofits in Houston, Detroit, Minneapolis, and now St. Paul, Brenda brings creativity and resourcefulness to her efforts to support community engagement, diversity and equity, and leadership development. Rooted by values of hospitality and social justice, Brenda seeks to impact positive and sustainable community engagement that reflects each unique community’s strengths and interdependence of every community member.

Jon 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.

Ben Ratkowski is the artistic director of Lakeshore Players. Ben has 17 years of professional theater experience as a performer, director, arts administrator and theatre educator. He has worked with theater companies across the nation including the American Shakespeare Center, Boulevard Ensemble, SOAR Regional Arts, Clever By Half Productions, and Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre—winning the Minnesota Theatre Alliance’s Arts Education Leadership Award for Excellence in Educational Programming. Ben also directed and worked with Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko to premier his play If All Danes Were Jews outside of the initial New York run.

Rinal 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.

Nora Robinson is co-owner and strategy director at WithInsight, bringing expertise in organizational development, mission effectiveness, and management. She has a passion for good process, believing that in order for organizations to be impactful externally, they must be healthy and strategic internally. Nora has built the capacity of hundreds of nonprofit organizations through training people to use best practices, actionable data, and appropriate quality improvement techniques. Her unique approach to continuous improvement emphasizes the importance of change management and culture creation. Nora has a masters in social work from the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and has been training, facilitating and coaching nonprofits for nine years.

Frances Roen is the director of development for YouthLink. With over a dozen years’ experience in fundraising, Frances has helped raise millions of dollars for multiple nonprofits in the Twin Cities. An over-consumer of all things design, she believes that beautiful fundraising is about an invitation—an invitation that causes people to tune in and engage with your nonprofit’s mission. Committed to helping you fundraise with more meaning and create moments that are powerful, intimate, and real—Frances’ fresh approach to fundraising promises to help change, evolve and energize both you and your organization. Frances has an M.Ed. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Tea Rozman Clark is the executive director of Green Card Voices. Previously, Tea has worked for Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network, a New York City nonprofit working with immigrants from the former Yugoslavia. She is a New York Univeristy graduate in Near and Middle Eastern studies and has a Ph.D. in vultural history, specializing in oral history recording from the University of Nova Gorica. She is first generation immigrant from Slovenia and 2015 Bush Leadership fellow.

Nichole C. Salaam is principal owner of LNC Strategic Designs. With over 16 years’ experience in teaching, training, design and volunteer management, Nichole has worked to build organizational capacity through strategic initiatives, and cultivation of collaborative partnerships. Having earned an M.A. in organizational leadership and an M.S. in instructional design for online learning, Nichole now serves as director of program design for Teach for America – Twin Cities, where she designs leadership development and diversity, equity, and inclusion programming for new teachers, alumni, and staff, as well as instructs equity courses in partnership with the University of Minnesota. Prior to her post at Teach for America, she taught online and face to face graduate school courses in leadership, talent management and global diversity at Bethel University.

Jodi Sandfort is professor at the University of Minnesota and chair of the school's Leadership & Management Area. Her work focuses on improving the implementation of social policy, particularly those policies designed to support low-income children. Jodi is a Family Self-Sufficiency scholar funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is the founder and academic director of the Future Services Institute, an applied research and training center focused on public service redesign in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, county government, nonprofit service providers and foundations. For six years she directed the human services program at McKnight Foundation. She is also the academic director of the Hubert Project. Jodi recently completed a book Effective Implementation in Practice: Integrating Public Policy and Management with Stephanie Moulton.

Christina Saunders is executive director of Athletes Committed to Educating Students (ACES). Christina comes to ACES from Knowledge is Power Program Minnesota where she was the special education coordinator for three years. A native Minnesotan, she ventured out east after high school and graduated from Trinity College with a degree in public policy and law. Following college graduation, she became a New York City Teaching fellow in the South Bronx. She taught both elementary and special education, and went on to be a founding member of the School for Environmental Citizenship, also in the South Bronx.

Mary Jo Schifsky is passionate about engaging, fulfilling and productive work—for everyone. She’s committed to changing the dialogue about traditional retirement age by exploring the opportunities within a multi-generational work force and current employer skill gaps. Mary Jo speaks from her experience, with over 45 years in the workforce, in for-profit, nonprofit, line and staff positions, building businesses and companies. She is an experienced leader with roles at Target, Hazelden, Pickle Product and as executive director for Store to Door for Seniors. With GenSync, she’s focusing on her lifelong interest in workforce development, highlighting her personal value that meaningful work throughout life equates to productive employees and profitable enterprises. Mary Jo’s educational credentials include an M.B.A., HR management coursework and leadership certification.

Isadora Tabue is the program manager for the Future Services Institute Equity Works, a new initiative of the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Isadora has served in a variety of professional roles within public and nonprofit workforce development. In these roles, Isadora served as an advocate in support of eliminating barriers that hinder education and professional advancement of individuals from communities of color. Isadora received her bachelors of arts in professional communications with an emphasis in public relations from Metropolitan State University. She is currently pursuing a masters of public affairs at the Humphrey School.

Rob Thomas, Lakeshore Players’ managing director, is a consummate and dedicated nonprofit arts fundraiser, as well as a performer and playwright. Rob has been contracted for various administrative and management roles for a variety of theaters including Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, Torch Theater Company, and the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona. Most recently, he served as managing director at 16th Street Theatre in Chicago. Rob is of Dakota ancestry and his research of the lives of the Dakota people before, during and after the Dakota/U.S. War of 1862 culminated in a commissioned play for the History Theatre’s Raw Stages Series entitled 38: The Dakota-U.S. War of 1862. Rob has served on and presided over several nonprofit boards, including community soup kitchens, philanthropic organizations, arts organizations and service clubs.

Kelly C. Weiley is a trainer and coach with CoAct Consulting, focusing her work on diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and teaching and learning. Kelly works with a wide variety of clients – ranging from students and teachers to nonprofit, government and private sector professionals. Kelly holds a master of social responsibility from St. Cloud State, where she has also taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in Human Relations and Multicultural Education. She recently wrapped up two years at the University of Minnesota, teaching a class called Navigating Difficult Conversations. Kelly draws upon her classroom experiences to root her trainings in research and theory, but always circles back to how principles apply to individuals, urging them to practice skills that improve performance, foster growth and nurture effective leaders.

Diane Wilson, Mdewakanton descendent, is the executive co-director for Dream of Wild Health, a nonprofit farm in Hugo that reconnects Native people with indigenous foods and medicines. Diane has a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota and over 20 years working as senior management in various local nonprofit organizations. She is the author of two books that focus on issues of assimilation, historical trauma, and cultural recovery: Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past; and Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life. As a 2013 Bush Foundation fellow, she focused on indigenous seed preservation. Diane is also a master gardener and a founding member of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network.

Special thanks to our platinum sponsor:

Individual Login

You are signed in as:

View My Account divider Logout

Nonprofit Leadership Conference
Tuesday, June 13
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center
200 SE Oak St., Minneapolis



Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota