Eunice Adjei Bosompam
Sandy Andress is a family service worker for MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership. She previously spent 19 years as a small business owner and music instructor. Sandy sat on the boards of the Nemeth Art Center, the Region 2 Arts Council, and the Akeley Chamber of Commerce. As a single mother to two young children she graduated with her B.A. in history, humanities and Indian studies from Bemidji State University, followed by five years as a community coordinator in underserved communities. With a deep interest in cultures and movements throughout history, Sandy developed a passion for studying the causes and possible cures for poverty. This passion continued during her time as an entrepreneur where she taught creative thinking and design at corporate retreats, community classes, and individual sessions at her studio.
Liz Kuoppala’s (she/her) commitment to securing upward mobility for others is deeply rooted in her own personal odyssey out of poverty and trauma. For more than 20 years, Liz has led organizations and advocacy to be more inclusive and effective in creating opportunity for people. Liz currently serves as executive director at MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership in Detroit Lakes. She serves on national, state, and local boards focused on service integration, leadership, and multi-generational strategies to ending poverty. She holds degrees in chemistry and political leadership. Liz lives in rural Otter Tail County.
Alice Meyer is a licensed social worker in Minnesota. She has spent the last 20 years doing family service work to help families move out of poverty. Alice is currently working as a family coach mentor at MAHUBE OTWA Community Action Partnership Inc., where she is professionally mentoring staff in strength-based relationship coaching, and assisting staff in moving from a regulative mindset to a generative mindset model. She took it to heart when her dad told her that she should get her education because it is the one thing that can never be taken away once it is earned.
Ben Nwachukwu is currently the IT helpdesk manager at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU). He has been in this role for eight years. Ben oversees the day to day operation of SMSU IT helpdesk and conducts different tech workshops on how to utilize different software and tools like Office 365 apps and many more. Ben is a graduate of SMSU with a bachelor of science in accounting, finance, and management, with a minor in agribusiness. He also has a master’s in business administration.
Ayodeji Oyebola, Ed. D. is the Founder of Emmright Business Management & Consulting Services. The company bundles payroll, bookkeeping, electronic forms, human resources, technology, strategic management, and others to provide small and medium businesses with the expertise of large companies. The company also offers consulting services on leadership, organization development, strategic development, process improvement, and technology. Ayodeji holds a Doctor of Education in leadership and has professional experience in the healthcare and financial industries. He is the author of Caring: The Soul of Leadership, a book that discusses how leadership care sets the tone for leadership success. The book is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.
Tuleah Palmer began her role as president and CEO of Blandin Foundation in Grand Rapids, Minn., in July 2020. In this role, she oversees the foundation’s grantmaking, community leadership training and public policy initiatives, as well as stewardship of foundation resources. A lifelong resident of rural Minnesota, Tuleah served as executive director of Northwest Indian Community Development Center (formerly NWIOIC), which works to identify, coordinate and deliver resources that promote wellness and equity for American Indian families in northwest and north-central Minnesota. Tuleah was born in Deer River, Minn., and has worked in and lived across Northern Minnesota. She holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Psychology from Bemidji State University. She has served as tribal planner and community development grant writer for Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, as an independent nonprofit management consultant, and executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Leech Lake Area.
Benjamin Winchester has been working both in and for small towns across the Midwest for over 25 years. He lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota with his wife and two children. Ben is trained as a Rural Sociologist and works as a Senior Research Fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality. He conducts applied research on economic, social, and demographic topics surrounding a theme of “rewriting the rural narrative” that are vital to rural America. Winchester received his B.A. in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Minnesota, Morris (1995) and M.S. in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri, Columbia (2001). He was a founding employee at the Center for Small Towns, an outreach and engagement program at the University of Minnesota, Morris and specializes in community development, demographic analysis, data visualization, and moving communities away from anecdata.