April 20 Keynote
Marvin Webb (He/Him) joined Funders for LGBTQ Issues in 2010 and currently holds the role of senior vice president of finance and administration. By mixing business efficiency and insights in analytical prowess, he’s been at the helm of the organization’s growth. As a strategic thought-partner, he has created four focused pillars that guide the human resource work of Funders for LGBTQ Issues: employee engagement, total compensation, learning & development, and performance management. This work’s power is built around measurement maps that align the organization’s strategic goals, investment goals, leading indicators, and business results while overlaid with its racial, gender, transgender, and disability lenses.
A native of Missouri, Marvin received his B.A. from Creighton University, a certificate in modern dance from the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and his M.F.A. in contemporary dance from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts. After his 17-year performing career as a modern dancer, Marvin received his MBA in human resources and marketing from Baruch College/Zicklin School of Business, during which he completed his practicum at the international human rights organization Witness. He recently graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with an M.S. in accountancy. Marvin lives in Pennsylvania and serves on CenterLink, the board of 200+ LGBT Centers community and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center of the Lehigh Valley.
April 27 Plenary Panel
Kate Barr (She/Her) is president and CEO of Propel Nonprofits, whose mission is to fuel the impact and effectiveness of nonprofits with guidance, expertise and capital. She oversees strategic and business planning, development and external relations. She led the merger of Nonprofits Assistance Fund and MAP for Nonprofits in 2017 to create a premier resource for nonprofits. She is a national leader, speaker and writer on nonprofit strategy and finance. Before joining the organization in 2000, Kate was a bank executive and an arts administrator. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, currently for Borealis Philanthropy, and the Jerome and Camargo Foundations.
Jeanne Bell (She/Her) directs Nonprofit Quarterly’s Advancing Practice program to advance critical conversations about nonprofit management and leadership. She is the former CEO of CompassPoint, where she stewarded the strategic evolution of the organization to focus on emerging leaders and emergent leadership practice with an explicit orientation to social change. She is the author of numerous articles on nonprofit leadership, strategy, and sustainability, and co-author of several books, including most recently, The Sustainability Mindset (Jossey-Bass, 2015). Jeanne’s board leadership has included officer positions at the Alliance for Nonprofit Management and Intersection for the Arts. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Master of Nonprofit Administration program at the University of San Francisco’s School of Management, from which Jeanne received her master of nonprofit administration.
Ruth McCambridge (She/Her), editor emerita of Nonprofit Quarterly, transformed the Nonprofit Quarterly into a national journal in 1999. Her background includes 45 years of experience in nonprofits, primarily in organizations that mix grassroots community work with policy change. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ruth spent a decade at the Boston Foundation, developing and implementing capacity building programs and advocating for grantmaking attention to constituent involvement.
Hilda Polanco (She/Her), founder and CEO, has led Financial Management Association to become the go-to capacity builder foundation and nonprofit leaders seek to address financial management issues. A nationally recognized leader, Hilda contributes to the sector in many ways. She served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Department of Health Policy and Management and Columbia Business School’s Executive Education program. She serves on the board of Hispanics in Philanthropy and the national advisory board of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, and is a member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers. Hilda graduated from New York University with a B.A. in accounting. She holds a certification from the Institute of Internal Auditors and the chartered global management accountant designation awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Sam Amundson is the current controller at MAHUBE-OTWA, which is located in greater Northwest Minnesota covering the five counties of Mahnomen, Hubbard, Becker, Ottertail, and Wadena. As the controller she helps oversee 60+ grants from various sources-federal, state, local, and philanthropic. In order to oversee these grants she works collaboratively with program directors, an administrative team, the executive director, and various community partners. With this collaboration she has lived the transition of bridging the gap and building relationships between program and fiscal.
Steve Anseth (He/Him), 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.
Catie Bitzan Amundsen (She/Her) advises a broad range of organizations in the nonprofit sector. Her clients include operating nonprofits, private foundations, grantmakers, international and foreign-based nonprofits, social enterprises, governmental entities, and health care providers. Catie counsels organizations on issues related to tax exemption, corporate governance, mergers, affiliations, joint ventures, partnerships between nonprofit and for-profit organizations, social enterprise, and regulatory matters. Catie speaks regularly on social enterprise and social entrepreneurial topics, bringing a deep understanding of tax-exempt organizations together with business acumen and agility from serving entrepreneurial businesses—necessary skills to serve this dynamic and growing sector. Catie enjoys collaborating with clients to form creative legal strategies so that clients can take smart, informed risks, protect their tax-exempt status, and focus resources in furtherance of their mission.
Milpha Blamo (She/Her) is the vice president of talent and culture at The Minneapolis Foundation. She leads and executes strategies for talent management, learning and development, and HR systems with the goal of fully engaging the Foundation’s diverse workforce and enhancing its organizational culture. She has more than a decade of experience in nonprofit leadership, serves on the board of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the Business Advisory committee at Normandale Community College, and is a member of the Forbes Human Resources Council. Milpha holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Hamline University. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in leadership at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Kate Burggraff has served as the executive director of Foundation for Essential Needs (FFEN) for just over two years, transforming the organization from fully volunteer-run to an expanding staff of four. She has more than 15 years of experience in hunger relief and nonprofit management, working at both the local food pantry and regional food bank levels. Prior to FFEN, Kate served in multiple roles at Second Harvest Heartland, including six years as agency relations manager, leading the partner management between the food bank and 1,000+ partner organizations. Volunteer engagement roles at two local suburban food shelves strongly influences her relational and collaborative work style that has contributed to the expansion of FFEN’s services to food shelves across the state.
Andre Crockett has worked in the field of social work for 17 years. He is the executive director of Barbershop & Social Services, a licensed social worker, and ordained Pastor. For the past 13 years, Andre has lectured, trained, and led comprehensive workshops for Olmsted County and Rochester Public Schools. In addition, Andre has also developed an online magazine in partnership with Post Bulletin called Rochester In Color. He is the creator of Barbershop Talk, an online grassroots show that airs bi-weekly via Facebook live. It focuses on creating healthy dialogues by discussing with the broader community, some of the challenges and concerns of American Africans. Most recently, Andre hired a community liaison that will be a bridge to decrease the tension and hostility between blacks and police officers.
As practice leader, Thomas Cummins oversees Gallagher’s Research and Insights survey team, one of the leading compensation and benefits surveying practices in the country. He brings expertise in the fields of research, design, data modeling, and survey techniques to the production of numerous reports. Since joining Olney Associates (a predecessor firm) in 1995, he has greatly expanded the survey operations from two local healthcare surveys to producing hundreds of surveys in various industries across the country, including the largest privately produced employee benefits survey in the U.S. Along the way he helped to increase the user friendliness of survey products; upgraded electronic survey methodologies, including web-based surveys and more sophisticated database reporting; and expanded the survey practice internationally. Thomas is a frequent speaker on compensation issues and related economic analyses.
Shauna Dee is responsible for financial systems, business compliance, budget management, human resources, IT, and data systems at Forecast Public Art, where she has worked in various capacities since 2011. In 2019, Shauna was a participant in the Propel Financial Leadership Cohort to help develop a culture of financial understanding at Forecast and within the nonprofit sector. She received a master of arts in arts and cultural management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and a bachelor of arts from the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated from the Program of Liberal Studies.
Renay Dossman is the President of Neighborhood Development Center. Her background includes leading teams in merchandising, product development, and design for Target. She also served as vice president of bakery and vice president of category development for Southeastern Grocers. Renay and her husband are also the founders of Affirmation House, a not-for-profit for homeless men that provides housing and services to eliminate homelessness. In addition, Renay is a certified professional and executive life coach, and has been a business owner herself. She was named a 2021 Person to Know by Twin Cities Business and is a member of the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs. In addition, she serves on the Destination Northside Committee, and participates in the Anti-Racism and Economic Justice Trust, located within the Center for Economic Inclusion.
Mary Ann Ehlshlager is senior finance consultant at Propel Nonprofits. Mary Ann has decades of experience at the intersection of mission and finance, having served in executive roles in nonprofit theatres across the country. Before joining Propel, she led the accounting and finance program for 501 Commons, a nonprofit serving other nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to that, Mary Ann served as managing director of Seattle Children’s Theatre, the Delaware Theatre Company, and as project manager of the Guthrie Theater’s new home on the banks of the Mississippi. Mary Ann holds an M.F.A. from the California of Arts and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. At Propel Nonprofits, Mary Ann enjoys working with organizations to boost their mission impact through excellence in financial leadership.
Carol Fendt is a researcher with over 15 years of experience conducting large scale qualitative evaluation research focusing on the implementation of reforms in large urban settings. Carol has served as lead evaluator in numerous educational initiatives with school districts in and outside of the United States. Prior to her work as an evaluator, Carol was a teacher and administrator in Chicago. This decade of experience has been an asset to her work in educational research and evaluation. Carol currently serves on the board of directors for Mary’s Pence, a nonprofit organization supporting systemic change in the lives of women in the Americas, and is a member of American Evaluation Association. Carol holds the designation of Ph.D.
Mario Hernandez (He/Him) is the strategic services director of Propel Nonprofits. Mario is a firm believer of nonprofits' ability to build and sustain a more just society. He's been in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years, and has served in numerous executive leadership and board roles - program director, executive director, vice president and chief operating office, board chair, board vice chair, and board treasurer (numerous times!). Given his many hats with many organizations, he loves to share what he's learned with other nonprofit leaders. Mario enjoys talking strategy; action-oriented operation plans and marketing campaigns; collective impact through collaboration; inclusive leadership development; and, paying for it all through sustainable business models.
Beth Holger is chief executive officer of the Link, a nonprofit that works with youth and young families to overcome the impacts of poverty and social injustice. Beth has over 15 years of experience in the field of youth homelessness and sex trafficking. Prior to joining The Link, she was the homeless youth services coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Human Services and has worked in the street outreach, emergency shelter, and transitional living programs with runaway, homeless, and trafficked youth in Minneapolis.
Nausheena Hussain is the co-founder and executive director of an innovative platform to empower women in her community known as Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment. She is dedicated to building a movement to address leadership development, increase community engagement, and create a philanthropic legacy for change.
Sarah Jackson (she/her) is a loan officer and financial specialist at Propel Nonprofits. Her portfolio of clients includes many arts and humanities nonprofits, as well as organizations in the youth services, health and human services, and community development fields. She provides support, technical assistance, and training to nonprofit leaders and board members and also works collaboratively across teams at Propel Nonprofits, lending her expertise to strategy development and planning projects for clients. Prior to joining Propel Nonprofits, Sarah spent more than a decade leading nonprofit journalism organizations, as program director for the Minnesota Newspaper Association and executive director of the Minnesota News Council. She has degrees in journalism and philosophy from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Becky Johnson (She/Her) is co-founder of Nonprofit Mavens, a new company that works with small to mid-size nonprofit organizations as their go to source for accounting and financial support. As a certified public accountant (inactive), she enjoys learning about technology, upcoming finance changes, and how to make virtual accounting work for those she serves. Becky’s goal is to provide valuable insights to the organizations she works with and to the sector as a whole. Becky's past includes time as finance manager at WomenVenture, finance manager at Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, and auditing nonprofit organizations with Mahoney Ulbrich Christiansen & Russ. Her future includes supporting the sector by working with nonprofit organizations.
Jill Johnson is the associate director with Change Inc. Jill has served the nonprofit sector for 15 years in many staff and volunteer roles. In 2019 she was promoted to the associate director role at Change Inc. (a merged organization between Guadalupe Alternative Programs and Change Inc.) where she leads administration, operations, and advancement activities. Jill believes nonprofit administration should lift up and support program operations to make impact in our community.
Curtis Klotz (He/Him) certified public accountant, serves as director of nonprofit innovation at CLA. This role is grounded in CLA’s nonprofit consulting and business operations practice, which inspires Curt’s writing and presenting. Curt shares inventive strategies for nonprofits that have emerged from more than 35 years of direct work in nonprofit organizations, including former roles as VP of finance & C.F.O. at Propel Nonprofits and past chairperson of the Montana Nonprofit Association. Curt has contributed a number of articles to Nonprofit Quarterly and is the principal author of CLA’s Innovation in Nonprofit Finance blog.
Mary LaGarde is executive director of the Minneapolis American Indian Center, and has over 30 years of nonprofit experience. In 1994 she established a therapeutic preschool for American Indian children at Little Earth of United Tribes Housing Development, in 1999 managed the opening of the Little Earth Neighborhood Early Learning Center, and since has developed numerous programs for the American Indian community in Minneapolis. In 2008 Mary received the DreamMaker Award from the Ann Bancroft Foundation, in 2014 was honored by the University of Minnesota’s American Indian Student Cultural Center, and she was named a 2016 Local Public Health Hero by the City of Minneapolis’ Health Department. She received her B.A. in sociology/American racial and multicultural studies from St. Olaf College, and is a member of the White Earth Nation.
Leo Lopez is senior vice president, nonprofit banking & community development for Old National Bank. A 25-year banking veteran, Leo works tirelessly to expand community outreach efforts and address needs in the Minnesota region. He works closely with nonprofit, government, and community stakeholders to help them accomplish their goals. Leo is also an active community advocate – he is past board chair for Neighborhood House and the Latino Chamber of Commerce, and is a motivational speaker thru AVID, a public-school program. He was a participant of the 2017 Young American Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. He was a 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival Bush Foundation Scholar.
Kara Maloney serves as a co-executive director for Lanesboro Arts, a nonprofit based in southeast Minnesota that provides artistic excellence and educational development through diverse art experiences to the region. Kara also serves on the board of directors for two organizations: Southeast Minnesota Arts Council in Rochester, and Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce in Lanesboro.
Joe McDonald joined VEAP as CEO in 2018 after 19 years in no-profit leadership as co-founder, operations director and eventually lead pastor at Upper Room, a faith community located in Edina. Joe forges partnerships and collaborations to address needs in the community and find solutions to break down barriers and build relationships. His spirit of service and leadership accurately reflects the vision of VEAP – to give all members of the community the ability to pursue their dreams. Joe holds a degree in math and economics from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. He spent several years in finance, research, and accounting work in Washington D.C. and Minneapolis. Moving into the nonprofit sector in 1999, he has spent time in program and staff development as well as volunteer training and engagement.
Tammy LH McGee has 30+ years of expertise in strategic planning, financial analysis, operations management, mergers and acquisitions, cost accounting, project management, process improvement, team development, and regulatory compliance. She joined Dunwoody College of Technology in 2018 as the VP, administrative services & chief financial officer. Prior to Dunwoody, Tammy served as VP, finance & administration for private and public institutions of higher education. She previously served in financial leadership positions at various large manufacturing organizations in Minnesota and Colorado. Tammy holds a B.S. in finance and economics and an MBA in New Venture Strategies. Her volunteer activities have included positions with the Federal State Medical Board, U.S. Medical Licensing Exam, Metropolitan Airport Commission, National Association of College and University Business Officers, and Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict.
Warren McLean, president, joined Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) in 2018, bringing his conviction in the potential of entrepreneurs as a catalyst for community vitality. He leads NEON’s responsive strategic development, ensuring an organization that continually evolves to meet the needs of North Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Warren brings over 30 years of experience in finance, fundraising, strategic planning, and program development. In his former role as senior vice president and chief development officer at Community Reinvestment Fund, he led efforts to raise more than $150 million to support and promote community development. Warren holds an MBA in finance from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a B.S. in economics from the University at Albany, SUNY. He currently serves on the board of the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers.
As a leader in Community Wealth Partners’ strategy practice, Sandra Moore supports clients seeking to increase impact and financial sustainability through earned revenue ventures. She has guided organizations in evaluating the feasibility of new products and services, developing plans for growth, and creating financial models. Sandra also advises nonprofits and foundations seeking to develop bold strategies supported by actionable plans and is an experienced facilitator who helps stakeholders align around common goals. Prior to Community Wealth Partners, Sandra was at Bain & Company, where she led teams in designing large scale change initiatives for companies in a range of industries. She has also been a senior analyst at the Government Accountability Office. Sandra received her MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Darla Nemec is the director of finance and operations at Children's Cancer Research Fund (CCRF). Since 2017, Darla has been providing overall leadership, vision, and direction for finance, donor services, technology, and operations for CCRF. CCRF’s main focus is to support the research of bright scientists across the country whose ideas can make the greatest impact for children fighting cancer. CCRF also funds resources and programs that help families who are fighting cancer stay strong, find community, and take care of themselves. Darla is a dynamic, results-oriented entrepreneur and finance executive with successful experience providing fiscal, strategic, and operations leadership in challenging situations. She has strong interpersonal skills, capable of resolving multiple and complex (human resources, legal, financial, sales, administrative, operational) issues, and motivating team to peak performance.
As a nonprofit employee benefits consultant, Michaela O’Brien (She/Her) is passionate about helping nonprofits reclaim dollars for their mission. She partners with nonprofit organizations by creating and implementing strategies to attract, retain, and engage employees, with the goal of emboldening the well-being of every organization she works with. Michaela co-founded BenefitsMN, an association healthcare plan enacted in partnership with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Conceived in 2017 and launched in 2020, this innovative initiative is already enabling 65+ nonprofits in Minnesota to offer enhanced employee benefits at a lower cost. As a person who has worked in and dedicated her career to nonprofits, she enjoys and finds great value in the services Gallagher provides to clients.
Jake Olinger, president of Affiliated Insurance Services, a division Foster White Agency, has been a licensed insurance agent since 2003. He joined Foster White Agency in 2006, became a partner in 2013, and has been president since 2017. Jake feels fortunate to sit on several advisory boards throughout the years and is currently on the board for Riverwood Bank and the MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association. A graduate of Monticello High School, Jake played football in college, attending Ridgewater College and St. Cloud State University. Jake feels very blessed to be able to give back to the community he and his wife grew up in. He has been on the Monticello Fire Department since 2011 and has been a lieutenant, captain, and is currently the assistant chief.
Mike Prall (He/Him) is a certified public accountant and audit manager with Olsen Thielen CPAs and Advisors, where he has worked since 2013. Mike specializes in nonprofit organizations and enjoys working with mission-based passionate individuals. As an audit manager, Mike strives to optimize your nonprofit’s financial reporting performance and efficiency—giving you the time to perform your mission. He conducts and supervises audits, provides consulting services and training to clients, and prepares multi-company consolidated financial statements. Mike is now a Nonprofit Niche leader in Olsen Thielen dedicated to the unique fiscal and regulatory constraints the nonprofit community faces in business operations.
Jennifer Reedstrom Bishop has over 25 years of experience exclusively serving the nonprofit sector with a special emphasis on the unique needs and challenges of nonprofits working in the social enterprise sector, as well as healthcare and higher education. Jennifer is expert on all issues facing nonprofits, including collaborations and partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, governance conflicts of interest, unrelated business issues, joint ventures, and private foundation issues. Jennifer serves as general counsel to many nonprofits and prides herself on responsiveness, practical and business-oriented solutions, and passion for assisting nonprofits achieve their mission. She serves on Lathrop GPM’s executive committee and is chair of the firm’s Health Nonprofit Organizations practice group which provides legal services to nonprofit organizations nationwide as well as health care providers throughout the region.
Jack Reuler (he/him) has been with Mixed Blood Theatre since the very beginning. He founded the theatre at the age of 22, continuing work that began as a summer social-justice project, and has been the artistic director ever since. As artistic director, Jack works to realize Mixed Blood’s mission by providing vision, building financial stability, and ensuring quality programming. Jack’s family has been in the Twin Cities for five generations – and that means he’s a fan of the Twins and the Vikings. He combined his love of sports and theater in 2017 when he directed the world premiere of Safe at Home, a 9-scene play performed in the locker room, dugout, and other spaces of the St. Paul Saints’ stadium.
Shétu Rose is a finance and accounting consultant with 18+ years of professional experience. She has led and supported administrative and strategic management teams for local and international organizations in the nonprofit sector. Shétu has provided financial management expertise and leadership for organizations dedicated to economic inclusion and educational development, as well as humanitarian emergency aid and recovery services. Shétu is founder and CEO of Candide Solutions LLC, a firm that provides finance and accounting services to small and medium enterprises. She serves on the board of One Village Partners and The Cedar Cultural Center.
Nonoko Sato (She/Her) is associate director at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. In her role, Nonoko partners with MCN executive director Jon Pratt to chart MCN’s strategic response to organizational and sector challenges. She also plays a role in shaping and implementing the organization’s strategy, including oversight of member services and programs, operations, and financial management, as well as leading the annual planning and budgeting process and guiding new strategic initiatives. She serves as the chair of trustees for BenefitsMN, an association health plan that combines the insurance purchasing power of nonprofits across Minnesota. Prior to joining MCN, Nonoko served for nine years as executive director of SMART, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides low-income students access to exceptional education and college success. Originally from Chicago, Nonoko graduated from Carleton College.
Nadine Sehnert has worked in several local nonprofit organizations in program, finance, and management positions, and has served as Mary's Pence bookkeeper for 10 years. She is a member of the Woman's Club of Minneapolis and she and her husband manage the Twin Cities Board Games Meetup group, which advocates for building community through playing board games.
Neda Shahghasemi joined the Seward Redesign, Inc. team in 2017. In close alignment with the executive director, she oversees and manages the finances and operations of the organization to ensure efficiency, quality, and implementation of short- and long-term fiscal plans. Prior to Redesign, Neda performed similar executive support at other nonprofit organizations in the legal field. Neda is interested in empowering nonprofits in achieving their mission through navigating financing, planning, and management activities. She has an engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law.
E. Andrew Taylor (He/Him) thinks (a bit too much) about organizational structure, strategy, and management practice in the nonprofit arts. An associate professor of Arts Management at American University, he also consults for cultural, educational, and support organizations throughout North America. He recently completed a five-year sponsored research project for the William Penn Foundation on “Capitalizing Change in the Performing Arts.” Andrew is past president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, board member for Fractured Atlas, and consulting editor for The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, and for Artivate, a journal on arts entrepreneurship. Since July 2003, he has written a popular weblog on the business of arts and culture, "The Artful Manager," hosted by ArtsJournal.com.
May Thao-Schuck is the Teresa Rolling Radzinski vice president of career and professional development at St. Catherine University, where she leads work to make career development central to the student experience. May has more than 20 years of leadership experience in various industries. She successfully transforms culture and propels businesses, and her experiences include working in workforce development, higher education, strategic business and operations, leadership development, and organization development fields. She is a change agent and an impactful collaborator, connector, and partner who builds inclusive work environments where individuals and teams thrive. May has an MBA and is currently pursuing her doctorate in organization development from the University of St. Thomas. She is also an active leader in the Coalition of Asian American Leaders.
Bo Thao-Urabe is a practice-based possibilian who focuses on creating community-centered, asset-based solutions and transforming practices so that there are meaningful changes for those most impacted by systemic inequities. Currently, she serves as executive and network director of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders, a social justice network of 4,000 Asian Minnesotan leaders harnessing their collective power to improve the lives of community by connecting, learning and acting together. Bo’s lived experiences continuously shape how she creates to ensure communities can fully participate in, contribute to, and shape solutions. Her extensive leadership experiences include building and leading local, national, and global efforts. Bo has been recognized for her impact and leadership locally and nationally and is one of the few people with a day named after her in the City of Saint Paul and the state of Minnesota.
Stephanie Thompson is managing director at Ten Thousand Things (TTT), where she gets to marry her love of data with her love of great theater and inspiring artists. She is also co-founder of Soma Studios, a physical theatre studio in Minneapolis. Prior to her work at TTT, she served as executive director, faculty, and company member at Dell’Arte International in Blue Lake, California. While in Blue Lake, she also co-founded the Blue Lake Education Foundation, the Humboldt Arts and Culture Coalition, and the Blue Lake Rising grant program. Stephanie also served on the faculty of the MFA acting program at University of Missouri – Kansas City, and has taught throughout the United States in the areas of mask, puppetry, commedia, clown, acting, community engagement, and entrepreneurship in the arts.
Amy Jo Van Culin (She/Her), vice president of commercial lines, joined Affiliated Insurance Services, a division of Foster White Agency, in 2020 after spending over a decade in family and corporate philanthropy. She is motivated by serving others and is excited to continue to do so in this role. At the University of St. Thomas, Amy Jo received a mini-MBA for nonprofits/organizational management. She earned a bachelor of science degree at the University of Wisconsin – Superior, where she was also inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame with her 2004 softball team.
Jason Viana is the executive director of The Open Door, a dynamic hunger-relief organization and the largest food shelf in Dakota County. Under his leadership, the Eagan-based nonprofit has more than doubled the number of clients being supported with fresh and healthy food and broadly expanded its base of community support. Previously, Jason served with the American Red Cross, addressed social and mental health issues with teenagers, and spent more than a decade in the food service industry. Jason holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Hamline University.
Annette Wanchena (She/Her) works in Commercial Deposits and Cash Management at Minnwest Bank. Her goal is to help customers reduce expenses and increase income, and with over 25 years financial services and management experience, she can do that! As a certified treasury professional, Annette stays up-to-date on issues surrounding liquidity, capital and risk management, and shares that knowledge with her customers. She also has heart for nonprofits, serving on several boards and committees over the years. Annette loves that she is able to help them in their fiscal responsibility, which allows them to focus on their mission.
Michelle Wilkowski is a 22-year veteran of Head Start and the current director of the MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, Inc. Head Start program. As a licensed pre-K teacher, Michelle began her career in early childhood as an Early Head Start home visitor and a Head Start classroom teacher before spending a number of years in program management and eventually becoming a director in 2018. However, extensive program experience is not the only strength needed to successfully manage a multimillion budget that encompasses multiple funding sources. Building a strong working relationship with agency fiscal staff has been key to bridging the gap!
Mary Zerjav began her career in the brokerage industry and attained licenses including a general securities (Series 7), state (Series 63), general sales supervisory and registered options principal licenses (Series 24) and was a general principal for a large bank's brokerage subsidiary. She spent over 20 years as a payment product manager in a bank's treasury services department helping small business, middle market, and large corporate clients manage their payment processes. More recently she consulted for a large bank, driving efficiencies in their correspondent bank network. Previously, she consulted for a Fortune 500 financial services company rolling out a new electronic payment platform to banks and a large bank focused on achieving operating efficiencies for their international correspondent bank network.