2019 Nonprofit Leadership Conference

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Speaker Biographies

Often called a rainmaker, C. J. Arnold has an eclectic background in building strategic relationships with venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and building ecosystems most important to donors, investment, innovation, and opportunity. Cynthia founded One Earth United to empower indigenous communities through the arts for artists, musicians, craftsman, sculptures, and artisans to help turn their talents into sustainable wealth within their own communities. Cynthia also organizes events for nonprofits and Native American tribal communities. She created Minneapolis' first solar fashion show, which has become one of the most successful eco-fashion shows in the world. As a PR professional, she has worked in media relations garnering placements in major publications such as New York Times and USA Today. She attended Penn State and graduated with honors from Ohio University.

John Bell has been the business manager at Springboard for the Arts since 2013, where he oversees the organization’s finances and human resources. He also manages Incubator, Springboard’s fiscal sponsorship program. Previous to his role at Springboard, John served as the office manager and accountant at the Minnesota Private College Council. John is an artist with a background in fine art, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and a master of fine arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

As vice president of advancement at The Family Partnership, Kit Briem is responsible for cultivating resources to deepen the organization’s impact and position. She has raised funds for the Twin Cities’ social service, art and philanthropic communities for more than 25 years. Her resume includes serving as the business director of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, development director at Tubman and Cornerstone, and executive director of PFund. Kit most recently served 180 Degrees as vice president of advancement. Kit holds a masters of arts in arts administration and a master of business administration from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She currently serves on the board of the Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice & Social Transformation.

Susan Brower is the Minnesota state demographer and directs the Minnesota State Demographic Center. Susan became the state demographer in 2012. In this capacity, she travels the state talking with Minnesotans about the new social and economic realities that are brought about by recent demographic shifts. Susan's work applies an understanding of demographic trends to changes in a range of areas including the state's economy and workforce, education, health, immigration, and rural population changes. Susan joined the State Demographic Center after working as a researcher on the Minnesota Compass project at Wilder Research. Prior to that, she worked at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.

Dawne Brown White is a respected and accomplished leader in the Twin Cities nonprofit community who has a passion for building relationships and growing programs to meet community needs, especially those that strengthen children and families. Since moving to the Twin Cities from Canada, she has held positions with the Girl Scouts, the University of Minnesota, the Ronald McDonald House, and also founded her own nonprofit. Dawne currently serves as the executive director of COMPAS, a state-wide arts organization. She also serves on the board of the Roseville Community Foundation.

Cecelia Caspram, founder/principal of Mission Growth Partners, is a master’s-level social worker who has been helping nonprofits raise their necessary revenue for over a decade – which already amounts to millions of dollars collaboratively raised. She has deep experience in meaningful, productive individual donor relations; successful public and private grant writing; and general strategy and planning for fund development. She has worked with both small and large organizations, always with an entrepreneurial mindset that seeks to maximize resources and efficiency. Her M.S.W. is from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and she has a B.A. in English from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. She currently serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Minnesota Chapter and is an active member of its IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) Committee.

Michelle Paj Hmoo Chang is a second generation Hmong American woman. In her role as the policy and equity coordinator at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, she leads mobilization efforts to get out the count for the 2020 Census through the power of nonprofits, and facilitating MCN’s growth in intercultural competence. She holds a B.A. in Asian studies from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University and a M.A. in international studies, with a focus on international development, from Concordia University – Irvine.

Emma Connell, research associate at Wilder Research, supports various stages of evaluation and research projects, including data collection, analysis, and reporting. Though her work covers a wide variety of topics, it is primarily focused on educational, philanthropic, and health-related initiatives. Emma’s research interests include poverty alleviation and financial security, educational equity, and analysis methodology. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs with a concentration in advanced policy analysis methods. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy at Concordia College in Moorhead. Prior to joining Wilder Research in 2015, Emma worked in community organizing.

Donte Curtis is the owner of Catch Your Dream Consulting/Coaching where he mentors, inspires, and trains individuals and teams nationwide on leadership development, racial equity, entrepreneurship, and making effective change. Donte supports his clients to excel in their dreams and discover new alternatives. With over eight years of facilitation experience, Donte is adept at fostering the collective wisdom in the room and creates space to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. Probably one of the most energetic people you will ever meet, Donte lives a life that is dedicated to leadership, social justice, and liberation.

Duchesne Drew is the Community Network vice president at the Bush Foundation, which supports leadership development and community-driven problem-solving in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. He oversees the work of the Foundation’s communications, Community Innovation and Leadership Programs teams. He builds partnerships with related organizations and leaders, and he helps to link and grow networks across the region. Duchesne is a member of the Itasca Project’s working team and he’s a steering committee member of Greater MSP’s BE MSP Initiative, which is focused on retaining professionals of color within the Region. Duchesne’s other board commitments include the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, the African American Leadership Forum, the Monitors Club, the Leadership Learning Community, and the Columbia Daily Spectator.

Jenn Hamrick Vander Woude is currently the executive director of Friends for a NonViolent World. She has held a variety of positions in nonprofits and government, and has experience building and developing programs, managing volunteers, and engaging communities. She has previously worked with individuals returning to the community from incarceration in several programs including coordinating support groups for individuals with a history of sexual and violent crimes. Jenn is a graduate of the University of North Dakota with her masters in social work, and is a licensed social worker in the state of Minnesota. Her passion is engaging volunteers and community members to create efficient and effective programming. Jenn has a master’s of social work degree and is a licensed graduate social worker.

Erika Hovland, managing director for IOLITE360, combines strategy, leadership development, and branding expertise to navigate mission-inspired businesses from origin to destiny -- where customers, revenue, values, and purpose connect for good. As VP, sales and marketing, she spearheaded the turnaround of a multi-million dollar business. Previously the product director for a Fortune 500 company, she led her team to reach sales of $500 million. Erika holds a B.S. in economics from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from Temple University. She teaches courses in marketing and communications as adjunct faculty at Temple University and received a Silver Stevie Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, Small Business in 2015. Erika was a moderator at the 2018 Women | Future Conference and has presented to audiences ranging from 30 to 3000 attendees.  

Elisabeth Hunt has been working in the nonprofit sector since 1988, first as vice president of education at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan and since 2002 as director of member support and training at Species360 in Bloomington. Her experiences have included field research on snakes, lizards, and frogs in Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands; creating and overseeing teen and adult volunteer programs used to deliver educational programming both on and off zoo grounds; designing zoo interpretive exhibits and programs; and managing the training and support teams assisting over 8,000 zoo and aquarium professionals around the world who use the ZIMS global captive wildlife database.

Stephanie Jacobs is founder of Trailblazer Leadership, a coaching and consulting organization working with leaders and organizations that are interested in a new way of being. She is also director of the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where her work centers around leadership development. Prior to joining the PNLC, Stephanie was program director at the Nonprofits Assistance Fund. Previously, she was director of member services at the Minnesota Council on Foundations and consulting associate with Fieldstone Alliance. Stephanie is a graduate of St. Olaf College and holds a master's degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She is a certified professional coach and serves on the boards of Twin Cities Catalyst Music and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

As a donor engagement officer for Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Erik Jacobson connects with Beacon’s current and prospective donors on how their support changes the lives of those in need of housing. Erik also runs Lulo, a coaching firm that helps mid-career professionals looking to change careers and design a life that makes them happy. He is the only coach in the world to combine energy leadership and design thinking to create his signature program: the Outstanding Imaginator. Erik also has nearly ten years of experience working as a project manager working for a Fortune 500 consulting firm. He holds a master of business administration and a bachelor of arts in communications from Augsburg College, and is a certified professional coach. Erik is also certified in Designing your Life.

Aileen Kasper is an entrepreneurial, donor-centric strategist with more than two decades of experience increasing revenue, engaging stakeholders, and furthering organizational missions. Aileen is currently an inaugural Association of Fundraising Professionals IDEA Fellow. Aileen’s previous philanthropic portfolio includes Mayo Clinic, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, and various Twin Cities nonprofits, as well as political and foundation engagement. Aileen helped co-found the Latino Economic Development Center and also the New World School of the Arts Alumni Foundation in her hometown of Miami. She has also helped build diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at various institutions. Aileen received her B.A. from Oberlin College; M.B.A. from Augsburg University; Oberlin College Community Action Fellowship; Mayo Clinic Bronze Quality Fellowship; Metro State University Community Development Careership; and Hispanics in Philanthropy Next Generation Philanthropy Fellowship.

Vina Kay is VP of movement & capacity building at Race Forward. She leads a team that strengthens grassroots movements for racial justice and increases the capacity of organizations to engage in transformative racial equity work. Movement and Capacity Building provides trainings, convenings, consultations, and programmatic activities to the racial justice community. Prior to joining Race Forward, Kay served as executive director at Voices for Racial Justice, an organization that works to create a healthy ecosystem of racial justice organizing through training and leadership development, culturally rooted policy tools and research practices, convenings, and network building. While at Voices, she was also director of research and policy, leading the work on the Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity, racial equity agendas, community narratives, and other tools that support grassroots organizing.

Kris Kewitsch is the executive director of Charities Review Council, helping to ensure the Council delivers on its mission to be an independent resource so people are empowered to make informed and thoughtful giving decisions so they can be more effective in helping charities advance their important work. Prior to joining the Council, Kris worked in corporate philanthropy with Target Corporation, U.S. Bank, and Piper Jaffray, directing resources—both human and financial—to nonprofits across the country. Kris attended Gustavus Adolphus College, receiving a B.A. in sociology and anthropology. She has served on numerous boards, including the Corporate Volunteerism Council, National Council on Workplace Volunteerism, and the Volunteer Resource Center (now HandsOn Twin Cities). Kris was named to Twin Cities Business List of 100 to Know in 2017.

Sonja Kuhn is a certified therapeutic coach, a certified master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming, a certified master practitioner of humanistic neuro-linguistic psychology, a master practitioner of hypnosis and has earned certification in NLP Train the Trainer. Sonja is the owner of Journey Coaching and Training where she works with individuals to uncover their strengths and create a career/life path aligned with their natural talents, values, and beliefs. Sonja’s business clients include Target Corporation, North Memorial Hospital, Colle+McVoy, Pro Staff, Caterpillar, Thomson Reuters, Hennepin County Public Health Nurses, Cook County Higher Education, Leadership Alexandria, Glenwood State Bank, and United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties. Sonja's strengths, based on Gallup’s Strengths Finder, are: are: Ideation, Learner, Individualization, Connectedness and Futuristic, Strategic and Adaptability.

Anne Leland Clark is the financial capability + learning director with Prepare + Prosper (P+P). In her eight year tenure at P+P, she’s built a nationally recognized tax-time savings campaign, volunteer-based financial coaching program, and the emerging Financial Access in Reach financial inclusion initiative. She sits on the board of Exodus Lending, a nonprofit that refinances payday loans. Before P+P, she worked at the Minnesota Department of Human Service’s Office of Economic Opportunity with and for nonprofits in the fields of community action, homeless prevention, and food support. She holds a masters of public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

With over 20 years of extensive total rewards consulting and human resource leadership expertise across multiple industries, Robert Lemke brings a complementary perspective as both an advisor and practitioner to Gallagher clients. Bob’s strategic and analytic work helps clients create practical solutions through the use of internal and external data, workforce planning, stakeholder engagement, and supporting communication and infrastructure assessments. He specializes in leadership and staff compensation, incentive plan design, strategic workforce planning and analytics, and other practical total rewards consulting services that enable a client’s workforce strategies. Bob earned his master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Illinois State University, and has completed advanced studies in strategic decision and risk management from Stanford University. Bob is certified as a senior professional in human resources and a certified compensation professional.

Jean Lubke is the executive director of the East Metro Integration District / Equity Alliance MN in the Twin Cities. Jean has also held district curriculum and instruction director positions in Eden Prairie, St. Paul, and Rochester districts. She created and led the corporate training and development department for Imation after it was spun off from 3M. Jean holds a B.S. in elementary education from Moorhead State University, an M.A. in curriculum from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in curriculum systems and adult learning from the University of Minnesota.

Laura McCarty Tufano is a certified fund raising executive and has raised money for social justice, the arts, education, and human services over the course of her 16-year career. After directing overall development efforts at NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota and OutFront Minnesota, Laura spent several years specializing in individual giving. She increased individual giving revenue at the Minnesota Orchestra, Goodwill/Easter Seals, Breck School, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. As the vice president of advancement at Big Brothers Big Sisters, Laura provided strategic oversight for fundraising, volunteer recruitment, marketing, and brand management. Today Laura provides results-focused, donor-centered advancement and fundraising help to local nonprofits through Tufano Consulting. Laura has served on several nonprofit boards and currently volunteers as a mentor to emerging fundraisers through the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Jen Mein cultivates authentic engagement that invites diversity of perspectives into critical conversations, fosters creativity and innovation, and energizes motivated individuals and groups to experiment with new ways of working, learning, and leading. Currently serving as the innovation manager at the Future Services Institute at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, she is bringing her expertise and creativity to the human services sector in Minnesota. Jen is grateful for the many opportunities she has to be a witness to the brilliance of others when she is invited into spaces where meaningful conversations happen to visually capture insights as a graphic recorder.

Paula O’Loughlin is grateful to be with Equity Alliance MN, where she has worked for the past nine years. In her current role as program manager, Paula supports the Classroom Partnership Programming and facilitates professional learning and development to expand cultural responsiveness, intercultural competency, and racial consciousness. Paula was privileged to serve on the school board for Stillwater Area Public Schools and remains committed to working toward student-centered, equitable outcomes for each and every student. Paula graduated from St. Catherine’s University with a degree in elementary education with a middle school mathematics specialty and is a licensed educator. 

Brandi Olson is the founder and principal at The Olson Group, a collective of leaders and practitioners who build the capacity of mission-driven organizations to change the world through strategic planning, organizational design, and agile coaching. With a masters of education from the University of Minnesota, Brandi combines her expertise in education and human-centered design along with 15 years of experience in organizational learning and change to partner with nonprofit leaders in using agile practices to solve complex social challenges with more effectiveness and less burnout every step of the way.

Sook Jin Ong, director, leads the Future Services Institute, a new initiative of the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center. In this role, she brings her interest and practice in blending human-centered design and participatory leadership principles to be of service to those in human services. Prior to this, she managed the partnership between the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Minnesota Department of Human Services on improving service delivery in the Minnesota Family Investment Program. Previously, she spent several years in the corporate sector as a consultant. Sook Jin earned her bachelor’s degree in management and economics from the University of Sydney, and graduated with a master's degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Ritesh Patel is the medical director and CEO of Open Cities Health Center and managing partner at ACure Health, LLC. Ritesh is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital and healthcare industry. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Florida; an M.B.A from the University of Florida’s Warrington College Of Business; bachelor’s degrees in both biomedical engineering and economics; and a medical degree.

Amanda Petersen, research associate at Wilder Research, provides consultation on a variety of research projects with interests in project coordination and management, survey instrument design, sampling methodology design, qualitative and quantitative analysis, evaluation capacity building, training, and reporting results in meaningful ways. Her particular data collection interests include focus group facilitation and survey interviews. Amanda currently serves as the lead focus group trainer. Her primary research interests include public health, education, rural communities, survey research, and general evaluation studies. Prior to joining Wilder Research in 2012, Amanda was a research assistant at Healthways and the Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Gustavus Adolphus College and has a master of public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Leah Robshaw Robinson is currently the volunteer engagement specialist at Friends for a NonViolent World (FNVW). She received her B.A. in the history of social resistance and transformation from Earlham College in Indiana. Prior to joining the FNVW team, Leah worked for Minneapolis Community Education in a number of different capacities. Her past roles included City of Lakes Americorps member, site coordinator for both youth and adult programs, and as an onboarding specialist for new site coordinators. Leah is passionate about working with volunteers, helping them to leverage their skills, abilities, and strengths to contribute to community and work towards social change.

Jesse Ross’ heart is centered on community development and building authentic relationships, with 12 years of experience in nonprofit and community-based organizations throughout Minneapolis. Jesse works on both program development and direct community engagement, with the goal of empowering people to effectively impact their own communities. Jesse previously served as area director for Minneapolis Young Life and TreeHouse, where his areas of focus included policy and program development, organizational leadership, diversity and culture, youth and family development, fundraising, outreach, and other initiatives. Currently, he works at The Minneapolis Foundation serving multiple roles in the Community Impact Department, and is also a Roy Wilkins Public Policy Fellow Alumni and a current Ron McKinley philanthropy fellow. He authored the upcoming book Fathers Matter: Leadership lessons I’ve learned from my Father.

Trupti Sarode, program evaluation associate, brings her expertise in program evaluation to the Future Services Institute. As a master of development practice graduate from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, she focused on early childhood development, global health, and human development. Some of her work was with the Sustainable Healthy Cities, Sustainability Research Network funded by the National Science Foundation, Neighborhood House, Global Volunteers, and the Southside Community Health Services, Inc. Her experiences with large foundations such as the MasterCard Foundation (for its projects in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development in Egypt provided her an international perspective to her work. Originally, from India, Trupti completed her undergraduate degree in dentistry from Mumbai, India.

Nonoko Sato
is the associate director at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. In her role, Nonoko partners closely with MCN’s executive director 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.

Jamie Schumacher is the executive director of the West Bank Business Association, and works as a consultant for nonprofits and community organizations statewide. Also a visual artist and a writer, Jamie’s creative work has been featured in Pollen, the Star Tribune, and the Minnesota Women’s Press. Her book It’s Never Going To Work was released in 2018. Jamie graduated from the University of Minnesota with a master’s degree in innovation in nonprofit management, and she is the founder of Altered Esthetics, a community art space and arts advocacy organization. With abundant energy and passion for serving the community, Jamie has developed a specialty for helping organizations going through transition.

Regina Seabrook is the program manager for professional development at Equity Alliance MN.  She plans, coordinates, and provides educational equity focused professional and organizational learning in collaborative partnership with school leaders and for a network of schools and districts focused on improved educational outcomes for all students. Regina is a 20 year veteran educator. She earned bachelor degrees in sociology from Hamline University and social studies education from the University of Minnesota – Duluth, a master’s degree in education from Hamline University, and her principal and superintendent credentials from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

Rowzat Shipchandler has been trying to change the world since she was a teenager. She has spent more than 20 years in the nonprofit and public sectors. Between 2015 and 2019, Rowzat served as deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, managing the internal operations of the agency and staffing the planning the process for the statewide Civic Engagement plan. Prior to that, she served for a decade as the manager for the Facing Race Racial Equity Initiative at The Saint Paul Foundation, which sought to involve Minnesotans in conversations about racism. She has also worked as a community initiatives manager at Greater Twin Cities United Way and a community based crime prevention organizer at the Summit University Planning Council. She current serves as diversity coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Chanda Smith Baker, who joined The Minneapolis Foundation in 2017, is a results-driven leader with 25 years of nonprofit and community experience. She oversees the Foundation’s Community Impact team and its competitive grantmaking program, which distributes $5 million to $7 million every year to transform education, foster economic vitality, and promote civic engagement in greater Minneapolis-St. Paul. In addition, she provides strategic direction and leadership to the Foundation’s community initiatives and partners with its donors, as well as organizations and leaders across the city and state, to increase their alignment and collective impact. Before joining the Foundation, Chanda spent 17 years at Pillsbury United Communities, where she served in a variety of positions before assuming the role of president and CEO in 2011.

Francie Streich, research scientist, specializes in research and evaluation on topics related to education and human services. Before joining Wilder Research, Francie worked at the Spencer Foundation conducting research on college financial aid and with University of Michigan faculty conducting research on community colleges, school choice, and trends in college attainment. Francie holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Macalester College and a doctorate in public policy and economics from the University of Michigan.

Bob Tracy coordinates public policy engagement and leads government relations activities for the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF). He leads MCF’s efforts to advocate for a positive environment for philanthropy and charitable giving and on advancing policies in Minnesota that encourage prosperity and equity and eliminate disparities. Bob has experience as a grantmaker, nonprofit manager, and public program administrator. Since 1994, he has lobbied at the Minnesota State Capitol for groups including the Minnesota AIDS Project, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. He also has experience producing public affairs programming for tpt's Minnesota Channel. Bob is currently leading an effort to promote inclusion and equity by strengthening democratic systems and civic engagement and, specifically, through advocacy to get Minnesota ready for the 2020 Census.

Arlene Vernon is a human resource strategist with over 25 years of experience as a trusted resource for a diverse group of small and medium-sized organizations. She’s seen first-hand what nonprofit leaders face every day, and her results-oriented consulting and training successfully addresses those realities. In her work with 500+ organizations since starting her consulting firm HRx in 1992, she develops and implements do-able strategies to address the short-term challenges and long-term success of each organization. With an M.B.A. and a master of education in counseling, as well as a professional of human resources certification, Arlene is both a studied and practiced authority in human resources and human relations.

Marcie Wagner is a veteran of the nonprofit industry. Her expertise is in the successful development, implementation, and sustainable growth of newly incorporated nonprofit organizations. Marcie is the founder and principal of ML Wagner Fundraising Group and Laughing Buddha Meditation Centre. She has a B.A. from the University of South Dakota and received certification in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction through The University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has her certified fund raising executive credentials and is registered with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Minnesota Secretary of State. She is a member of the Minnesota Counsel of Nonprofits and Association of Fundraising Professionals.  Marcie’s Strengths, based on Gallup’s Strengths Finder are: Strategic, Restorative, Connectedness, Ideation, and Positivity.

Alfonso T. Wenker is a highly sought after speaker, facilitator, and trainer. He self-identifies as a nerd about all things philanthropy, fundraising, facilitation, and movement building. Before co-founding Team Dynamics, he was vice president at the Minnesota Council on Foundations - driving both program strategy and racial equity. He received his bachelor of arts in public relations from the University of St. Thomas and has held previous roles with Bush Foundation, Minnesotans United for All Families, and PFund Foundation. Alfonso recently completed his tenure as chair of the board for Pollen. He is the recipient of the 2017 Facing Race award from the Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundation, as well as the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Catalytic Leader Award in 2014. Alfonso was a 2015-2016 Humphrey Policy Fellow.

Jules Wilkins works with organizations to help create the strategy and tools they need to engage, delight, and activate their donors. Jules is the director of external relations at COMPAS, and she writes and consults at JulesWrites.com. Prior to her work in Minnesota, Jules worked in New Orleans creating and implementing development and communications strategy for the Young Leadership Council and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Jules is a certified fund raising executive, and serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Minnesota Chapter.

KaYing Yang is the director of programs and partnerships at the Coalition of Asian American Leaders. KaYing is a social justice advocate who has led community development efforts in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Thailand, and Laos. She began her career as a community organizer providing social services for the protection of refugees and immigrants. KaYing co-founded the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund; and worked closely with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In 2008 she founded an organization in Laos to help women and girls access educational and economic opportunities. She is president of RedGreen Rivers, a social enterprise working with women in the Mekong region to bring their handcrafted products to a global market.

Tyler Zabriskie is a leadership coach and consultant on organization and strategy development with 30 years of innovative leadership on six continents. He helps leaders and boards set direction in the midst of complexity, align organizational energy and resources, and cultivate deep commitment. Tyler is recognized as a skillful facilitator who builds trust, genuine collaboration, and resilient teams. His experience includes managing change leadership globally for a $3 billion NGO, building organizational resilience in USAID and the Ford Foundation, and leading emergency response and refugee programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He leads workshops for the Blandin Foundation on leadership in ethnically diverse communities. Tyler earned graduate degrees in business administration, cultural anthropology, and theology. Other recent clients include ChildFund Alliance, Mercy Corps, Minneapolis Urban League, and World Vision.

Diamond Sponsors:

Bush Foundation                       Humphrey School of Public Affairs