2019 Nonprofit Leadership Award Winners Announced

June 12, 2019
Three outstanding Minnesota leaders have been selected to receive the 2019 Nonprofit Leadership Awards for their commitment to working in the nonprofit sector, building organizational vitality, and creating lasting impacts on their communities.

The three award recipients will be honored in front of 400 nonprofit staff at an awards luncheon during the Nonprofit Leadership Conference, June 13 at McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis.

Transformational Leader Award - The experienced leader award

Cathy MaesCathy Maes, Executive Director
Loaves and Fishes, Minneapolis

“creating a vision to serve healthy food to more people”

Cathy Maes is a tireless advocate for the less fortunate. Since becoming the executive director of Loaves and Fishes in 2013, Cathy’s team has enhanced the organization’s mission to emphasize nutrition in every meal, and has led an innovative expansion effort that tripled the number of healthy meals served. With Cathy’s steady leadership, Loaves and Fishes served over one million nutritious meals in 2018. Previously, Cathy served as the executive director of the ICA Food Shelf. Cathy holds a BS degree in communications from Northern Arizona University and has served as the vice-chair of the board of Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and as a school board member for Minnetonka Public Schools.

Visionary Leader Award - The mid-career award

Tonya BrownlowTonya Brownlow, Executive Director
Emma Norton Services, Saint Paul

“using research-based evidence and compassion to end homelessness”

Tonya Brownlow, MSW, LISW has more than 20 years of experience working in social services. For the last 12 years she has focused on the best ways to serve those in the homeless population, by working in agencies offering emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing to single adults. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas. Tonya has been a catalyst for change within Emma Norton Services over the past five years, growing programs and moving the agency toward a more sustainable future. She hold a Master’s in Social Work from St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas.

Catalytic Leader Award - The emerging leader award

Lorena PintoLorena Pinto, Director, Promoting Recovery, Independence, Dignity and Equality (PRIDE) program
The Family Partnership, Minneapolis

“advocating for programs and policies to end gender-based violence”

Lorena Pinto is passionate about ending gender-based violence for vulnerable populations. As director of PRIDE at The Family Partnership, she oversees comprehensive services for survivors of commercial sex trafficking and has trained over 1,500 community members. Lorena was born in Peru. She is a graduate of the Wilkins Community Fellows program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and holds a degree from San Diego State University.  She is co-director of the Twin Cities New Leader’s Council that helps empower young professionals to create social change in our community.

About the Nonprofit Leadership Awards

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) is committed to building the strength and integrity of the nonprofit sector statewide. As part of this commitment, in 2010 MCN initiated the Nonprofit Leadership Awards to recognize the passion and energy of individual leaders at various stages in their nonprofit careers.
In 2019, the Center for Integrative Leadership (CIL) at the University of Minnesota and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN Twin Cities) will join MCN in recognizing nonprofit leaders with three distinct awards. Rigorous awards criteria are used in the competitive selection process