LEADERSHIP

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Board Members

Laura Bishop, Chair
Alana Petersen, Vice-Chair
Babette Apland
Alana Bassin
Rachel Bohman
Kate Bryant
Lisa Byrne
Fran Davis
Julia Dayton Klein
Dawn Erlandson
Emma Faris
Karen Hudson
Kim Isenberg
Ashleigh Leitch 
Mary Lenard
Christine Lindblad
Elizabeth Olson
Suzan McGinnis
Stacy Pagano
Melissa Rahn
Ellen Sampson
Susan Shields
Julie Strother
Susan Thompson
Jean Thomson
Natalie Volin Lehr
Lucia Watson
KaYing Yang

Laura Bishop

Laura Bishop

Board of Directors Chair Read More
Laura Bishop

Laura Bishop

Board of Directors Chair

Laura Bishop

Board of Directors Chair


Board Member Since: 2013
Winners Circle Member since: 2014

As vice president of public affairs for Best Buy Co., Inc., Laura is responsible for the strategic direction and management of global government affairs, corporate responsibility, and environmental sustainability and compliance. In her role, Laura works with stakeholders on public policy and broader business issues impacting customers, employees, shareholders and communities in order to reach Best Buy’s business objectives while mitigating risk and enhancing opportunities through responsible business practices. Central to the corporate responsibility efforts of the company, Bishop leads efforts and policy on electronics recycling, advancing sustainable products, and reducing the company’s carbon footprint.In 2003, Laura joined Best Buy as a manager to establish and grow the Best Buy Government Affairs Department. Since then, Laura has held roles in government affairs, influencer outreach, privacy, environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility. Prior to coming to Best Buy, Laura spent much of her career in the public sector where she served in public affairs and political assignments for The White House, The U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland, and The State of Minnesota. Laura began her career working on Capitol Hill in the United States Senate.Laura’s active community and professional involvement is highlighted by her dedication to the boards and councils on which she currently serves; including the Public Affairs Council Board of Directors and Ford’s Theatre Board of Governors in Washington, DC and a number of Minnesota non-profit boards including the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, The University of Minnesota - Hubert Humphrey Institute’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, and Stages Theatre.The Minnesota native holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Alana Petersen

Alana Petersen

Board of Directors Vice Chair Read More
Alana Petersen

Alana Petersen

Board of Directors Vice Chair

Alana Petersen

Board of Directors Vice Chair


Board Member since: 2016

Currently, Alana Petersen serves as Senator Franken’s Deputy Chief of Staff and State Director and coordinates the work of Al Franken for Senate in Minnesota. Alana brings a wealth of knowledge and a sharp political instinct to Senator Franken’s official and campaign operations through her 20 years of Congressional experience and through her involvement in every Minnesota election since 1998.Alana was born and raised in Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 1991, she moved to Washington, DC to work on Capitol Hill for a Minnesota House member, David Minge. In 1998, Alana returned to Minnesota to run his re-election campaign. She followed this by a U.S. Senate campaign in 2000, and a congressional recount in the fall of 2000. To broaden her political experience, Alana served as Executive Director of a statewide non-profit organization, Target Market. With an annual budget of $6 million dollars, Target Market promoted an anti-tobacco message to high school students. In 2002, when Minnesota used their tobacco endowment as part of a budget fix, Alana began consulting for a national political consulting firm, Grassroots Solutions. There, Alana worked with national labor unions, congressional candidates, and the pro-choice community to develop plans for the 2004 election cycle. After having her first son, Alana took a job closer to home in northern Minnesota. She worked for Minnesota Congressman, Jim Oberstar, and ran his congressional re-election campaign in 2006, and joined Al Franken’s campaign in September of 2008. After the election, Alana served as a Director for the 2008 statewide hand recount. In July of 2009, when Al Franken was sworn in to the U.S. Senate, Alana joined Senator Franken’s staff as the State Director. In the 2010 election cycle, she was asked to serve as Field Director for Mark Dayton’s recount for Governor.In 2014, Alana served as Senior Advisor to Senator Franken’s re-election campaign where she oversaw the Organizing Department of the campaign. The Organizing Department had a political, field and training sections with a total of 87 employees. Senator Franken had the largest paid organizing team in the state in the cycle and was recognized as being a well-run campaign. “I’ve got to give the award for best [campaign] to Al Franken because guess who we’re not talking about today. Closest Senate election six years ago - Al Franken, recount all of those things. How did this guy survive? Six years of a well-run campaign.” –Chuck Todd, MEET THE PRESS 11/2/2014Alana and her husband Thom reside in Pine City, Minnesota with their two sons Dylan (11) and Waylon (9). The Petersen’s play and watch a lot of baseball, and raise and show both miniature and large horses at county fairs across the state and in the Minnesota State Fair. The family is active in local Farmers Union where Alana serves as the County Treasurer. She also serves on the East Central Regional Arts Council Board.

Babette Apland

Babette Apland

Board Member Read More
Babette Apland

Babette Apland

Board Member

Babette Apland

Board Member


Babette Apland is a senior executive with a proven track record in launching new and innovative health care solutions. Her passion is creating patient-centered health care and developing successful strategies for organizations to grow and succeed in complex and changing marketplaces.Babette began her career building new and innovative health care delivery services. After studying international health care systems in Sweden, she joined HealthPartners, an integrated health care financing and delivery system serving 1.5 million members and 1 million patients with over 1,700 physicians. During her career at HealthPartners, Babette launched and grew several divisions including provider relations and partnerships, population health and behavioral health.Most recently Babette joined American Public Media Group to lead a new national initiative to measurably raise the American public’s and key stakeholder’s awareness and understanding of mental health. Her goals include activating public conversation and creating a platform for change through leveraging APMG’s innovative media and convening capabilities including new on-air programming, on demand programming, digital content, civic engagement and live events.

Alana Bassin

Alana Bassin

Board Member Read More
Alana Bassin

Alana Bassin

Board Member

Alana Bassin

Board Member


Board Member since: 2013

Alana Bassin is a trial attorney and the co-managing partner of the Minneapolis office at Bowman and Brooke LLP, a national product liability firm. She represents Fortune 500 businesses in product liability and personal injury defense in relation to medical devices, pharmaceutical manufacturers, nursing homes and hospitals, construction and building products, and chemical and toxic torts. Her work has earned her a Rising Stars listing in Super Lawyers®, the 40 Under Forty award by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and “Future Star" by Benchmark Litigation. Alana is the mother of four and currently serves as chair of the firm’s diversity committee. She is frequently called upon by local and national publications, as well as organizations, to discuss the professional development of women in the legal community. Her thoughts on women and the law can be found on the firm’s blog, Courtroom Divas.

Rachel Bohman

Rachel Bohman

Board Member Read More
Rachel Bohman

Rachel Bohman

Board Member

Rachel Bohman

Board Member


Board Member since: 2017

Rachel Bohman is an Attorney at Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP and concentrates her practice in the areas of data breach, antitrust, securities litigation, and campaign finance and election law.Prior to joining LGN, she worked in elections administration for Hennepin and Anoka counties. In 2008, she served as the Anoka County Recount official for the U.S. Senate recount and in 2010, she served as the Hennepin County Recount official for the Minnesota Governor’s recount. In 2010, she received a Leaders in Public Policy award, “Public Policy Achievement-Elections,” from Politics in Minnesota for her role in successfully negotiating a bipartisan election legislation bill.In addition to serving on the womenwinning Board, she also serves on the boards for the Rochester Women’s Shelter Board and Rochester Planned Parenthood Advisory Council. Rachel lives in Rochester where she is active in state and local politics.

Kate Bryant

Kate Bryant

Board Member Read More
Kate Bryant

Kate Bryant

Board Member

Kate Bryant

Board Member


Board Member since: 2016

Kate Bryant has served as Chair of the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation and her community work has earned her many recognitions including the Minnetonka Public Schools' Spinnaker Award.

Lisa Byrne

Lisa Byrne

Board Member Read More
Lisa Byrne

Lisa Byrne

Board Member

Lisa Byrne

Board Member


Board Member since: 2015
Winners Circle Member since: 2015

Lisa Byrne is a financial advisor with UBS Financial Services. She has been with UBS for 4 years, and was previously with Merrill Lynch. She has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and holds certifications in several specialties including non-profit management and financial mediation for divorce. She has served as the Chair of Zenon Dance Company for six years and served on the board of The Ordway Circle of Stars. Previously, she was very active with Planned Parenthood and served as silent auction chair; gala chair and on several other committees.

Fran Davis

Fran Davis

Board Member Read More
Fran Davis

Fran Davis

Board Member

Fran Davis

Board Member


Board Member since: 2013

Fran Davis is a REALTOR and Sales Manager at the Minneapolis Lakes Office, with more than 26 years of experience. Before Real Estate, Fran worked with Dayton Hudson in Detroit and Minneapolis in design, merchandising, advertising and marketing, since graduating from the University of Michigan.Fran is very active in the Twin Cities. She is currently on the board of the Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre, MinnPost, womenwinning, Ivey Awards and Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation. She was named a Finance and Commerce “Top Ten Women in Finance" and a "Volunteer of the Year" by Mpls St. Paul Magazine.In addition, she furthers the REALTOR profession through her volunteer roles with the REALTORS' Associations on local, state and national levels, the Minnesota Association of REALTORS RPAC and the Regional Multiple Listing Service.

Julia Dayton Klein

Julia Dayton Klein

Board Member

Julia Dayton Klein

Board Member


Board Member since: 2012
Winners Circle Member since: 2016

Julia Dayton Klein is a trial, regulatory, and government affairs attorney at Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty, & Bennett, one of Minnesota's longest standing law firms. Julia also focuses her practice on pro bono efforts to help youth in crisis, women and children suffering from abuse, and refugees seeking asylum. She was recognized by The Advocates for Human Rights for her work on studying human trafficking, which led to legislation changes improving the rights of trafficking victims. In her spare time, Julia enjoys empowering women to achieve their goals, whether through serving clients, mentoring, or strategizing with political candidates about policies affecting women and families. She is the mother of three young boys whom she and her husband, Scott, strive to raise seeing partnership and support of strong women.

Dawn Erlandson

Dawn Erlandson

Board Member Read More
Dawn Erlandson

Dawn Erlandson

Board Member

Dawn Erlandson

Board Member


Board Member since: 2015

Dawn Erlandson is the president of Aurora Strategic Advisors, Inc., where she leads public affairs and marketing communications efforts for national, state and local clients. She currently serves on the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Board of Trustees.

Emma Faris

Emma Faris

Board Member Read More
Emma Faris

Emma Faris

Board Member

Emma Faris

Board Member


Emma Faris was born and raised into a political family that taught her that “showing up” was the duty of every woman. She has been attending womenwinning events since she was a little girl and understands the importance of putting to work her strengths for Launch and womenwinning. She has been a Realtor for 16+ years and is very honored to be a part of womenwinning! Emma is currently a Real Estate Agent with Re/Max.

Kim Isenberg

Kim Isenberg

Board Member Read More
Kim Isenberg

Kim Isenberg

Board Member

Kim Isenberg

Board Member


Kim has significant political, policy and advocacy experience. She works with healthcare advocacy organizations to maintain open access to life saving therapies for people living with rare disease. Kim’s career began in youth leadership development. Her passion for working to make a difference led her to a career in public policy. Kim was a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1992. Her past positions have included roles in federal and state government, the University of Minnesota, pharmaceutical associations, biopharmaceutical manufacturers and public relations firms.

Ashleigh Leitch

Ashleigh Leitch

LAUNCH Committee Chair Read More
Ashleigh Leitch

Ashleigh Leitch

LAUNCH Committee Chair

Ashleigh Leitch

LAUNCH Committee Chair


Board Member since: 2017

Ashleigh Leitch is a lawyer at Best & Flanagan, LLP, and focuses on general civil litigation, labor and employment law, and appellate advocacy. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and the College of Saint Benedict. Ashleigh got her start in politics by interning in the Obama White House and for Senator Amy Klobuchar. Ashleigh also serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Justice Foundation.

Mary Lenard

Mary Lenard

Board Member Read More
Mary Lenard

Mary Lenard

Board Member

Mary Lenard

Board Member


Mary currently is executive director and co-founder of Giving Voice Initiative, a community chorus movement for people with dementia and their care partners. She previously served as the executive director of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging, director of aging programs at the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association MN-ND Chapter for nearly nine years.Mary served on the Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group formed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2009 which led to a call to prepare Minnesota for the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and the creation of ACT on Alzheimer’s collaborative - she is former chair of ACT’s Executive Leadership Council. Mary is a founding member of the Women Against Alzheimer’s, a national coalition of women focused on increasing research and awareness for Alzheimer’s.

Christine Lindblad

Christine Lindblad

Board Member

Christine Lindblad

Board Member


Christine Lindblad is a trial lawyer with Fox Rothschild LLP, a national Am Law 100 firm.  She specializes in complex commercial disputes, insurance coverage disputes, and lender liability lawsuits and remedy enforcement procedures.  She is the Fox Women’s Initiative connectivity liaison for the Minneapolis office.  She was recently recognized as The Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation – 2015 Edition.  She and her husband have three children, ages 14, 12 and 2.

Elizabeth Olson

Elizabeth Olson

Board Member Read More
Elizabeth Olson

Elizabeth Olson

Board Member

Elizabeth Olson

Board Member


Elizabeth Olson works as the Chief Financial Officer of Grassroots Solutions, an advocacy and political consulting firm with offices in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and New York. She is responsible for planning, budgeting, reporting, strategic analysis, bank relations, and human resources for the growing company. Previously, she worked for Slocum & Associates as an investment consultant and for the former Northwest Airlines as Director of Cash (her own personal favorite job title). Elizabeth is a Minnesota native, but received her B.A. in English and Economics at Oberlin College and her MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In addition to working and trying to keep her household from sinking into chaos, Elizabeth loves to travel, read, cook, ride her bike when she can, volunteer as treasurer for a community orchestra, and she enjoys doing anything but crafts with her two young and most wonderful children.

Suzan McGinnis

Suzan McGinnis

Board Member Read More
Suzan McGinnis

Suzan McGinnis

Board Member

Suzan McGinnis

Board Member


Suzan McGinnis is the Director of the Ethics Team at Target Corporation. Suzan is responsible for the design, implementation, and management of the company’s ethics program, and related processes, including the creation and maintenance of relevant policies and procedures. Before joining Target, Suzan worked in ethics and compliance at another large retailer based in the greater Minneapolis metropolitan area. Suzan currently serves as a Steering Committee and an Advisory Board Member for the Program in Organizational Ethics & Compliance at University of St. Thomas School of Law. She also serves on the Executive Team and Board of the Friends of the Hennepin County Libraries. Suzan has a B.A. in English from Augustana College, a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from UW-Milwaukee, and a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law. Suzan lives in Minneapolis with her partner and their two Siberian huskies.

Stacy Pagano

Stacy Pagano

Board Member Read More
Stacy Pagano

Stacy Pagano

Board Member

Stacy Pagano

Board Member


 

Melissa Rahn

Melissa Rahn

Board Member Read More
Melissa Rahn

Melissa Rahn

Board Member

Melissa Rahn

Board Member


Board Member since: 2014

Melissa uses her legislative and political experience to effectively build partnerships and coalitions to promote client agendas at the Capitol. While she has experience working on a broad array of issues, Melissa specializes in state legislative efforts around renewable energy policy, tax policy, and affordable housing and is a disability advocate at the state, local and county level.Melissa puts her extensive legislative and political background to work in building strategic goals for positive client results. She advises clients on strategic planning, communications, coalition development and grassroots efforts. Prior to joining Fredrikson in 2008, Melissa served as the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House, where she was a valuable resource to business, non-profits, labor organizations, agency representatives and advocates. Melissa was best known for her leadership as the House DFL Caucus Campaign Director where she managed the election efforts that saw record fundraising and brought house democrats to the majority and sustained that majority over four years. She has advised and volunteered on statewide and local campaigns. Melissa has also served as U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Political Coordinator. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Ellen Sampson

Ellen Sampson

Board Member Read More
Ellen Sampson

Ellen Sampson

Board Member

Ellen Sampson

Board Member


Board Member since: 2013

Melissa uses her legislative and political experience to effectively build partnerships and coalitions to promote client agendas at the Capitol. While she has experience working on a broad array of issues, Melissa specializes in state legislative efforts around renewable energy policy, tax policy, and affordable housing and is a disability advocate at the state, local and county level.Melissa puts her extensive legislative and political background to work in building strategic goals for positive client results. She advises clients on strategic planning, communications, coalition development and grassroots efforts. Prior to joining Fredrikson in 2008, Melissa served as the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House, where she was a valuable resource to business, non-profits, labor organizations, agency representatives and advocates. Melissa was best known for her leadership as the House DFL Caucus Campaign Director where she managed the election efforts that saw record fundraising and brought house democrats to the majority and sustained that majority over four years. She has advised and volunteered on statewide and local campaigns. Melissa has also served as U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Political Coordinator. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Susan Shields

Susan Shields

Board Member Read More
Susan Shields

Susan Shields

Board Member

Susan Shields

Board Member


Susan Shields is the President and co-owner of The Airtex Group, a $23M home textile and OEM manufacturing Company. Through her vision and leadership, she has developed an organization which has become a leading name in the private label home textile industry among the most trusted national retailers.As an accomplished entrepreneur and business leader, Susan has created opportunity in the whitespaces of her industry – spotting trends, visualizing saleable concepts and bringing them to life in a way customers will buy. Susan’s innovative ideas have helped change the retail landscape nationwide. Susan is a savvy business leader in decorative home textiles with years of experience in sourcing and manufacturing. She has built business partnerships in China, India, Pakistan, the US and Europe; and developed strong and lasting relationships with textile mills and weavers, textile printers, fabric converters, and factory owners. Her relationships and reputation with some of the most prestigious home retailers in the US have opened opportunities for exceptional growth for her company. Throughout her career, Susan Shields has brought thoughtful leadership and entrepreneurial vision to startup companies and has a passion to help and guide young women who want to start their own businesses. Prior to The Airtex Group, she created a successful women’s travel accessories company, Bags and Baggage, and grew it to a multimillion dollar brand with both national and international distribution.

Julie Strother

Julie Strother

Board Member Read More
Julie Strother

Julie Strother

Board Member

Julie Strother

Board Member


Julie Strother is the Government Relations Director at the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Prior to working at the secretary of state's office she was an attorney at Lockridge Grindal Nauen in Minneapolis. At the 2013 DFL Women's Summit, Julie was inducted into the DFL Women’s Hall of Fame as a “Rising Star."

Susan Thompson

Susan Thompson

Board Member Read More
Susan Thompson

Susan Thompson

Board Member

Susan Thompson

Board Member


Board Member since: 2016

Jean Thomson

Jean Thomson

Board Member Read More
Jean Thomson

Jean Thomson

Board Member

Jean Thomson

Board Member


Board Member since: 2016

Jean Thomson grew up in Minneapolis, graduated from Carleton College, and taught English lit and composition for 11 years before co-founding Dashe & Thomson, Inc., in 1981. The Company is focused on technical writing and training and eLearning. Currently CEO, Jean led Dashe & Thomson’s growth in the national and international marketplace by forging partnerships with training firms in Japan and England. Jean volunteers for organizations such as Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Planned Parenthood, the Advocates for Human Rights, and Global Rights for Women.

Natalie Volin Lehr

Natalie Volin Lehr

Board Member

Natalie Volin Lehr

Board Member


Board Member since: 2014

In her role as the Director of Corporate Affairs for Carlson, Natalie is responsible for the company’s government relations and corporate grantmaking functions. She co-chairs Carlson and Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Global Anti-Trafficking Task Force and recently served in a leadership role on the Super Bowl LL2 Anti-Trafficking Committee.

Natalie has an extensive background in political strategy, campaigns, and political action committees. She served as the Executive Director of WIN Minnesota Federal PAC, the Political Director for both Al Franken for Senate and Midwest Values PAC, and the Director of Women’s Outreach for Sen. Franken’s 2008 campaign. She also served as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Al Franken where she managed and directed the legislative portfolio for his work on the Senate Judiciary Committee as it related to sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, and GLBT issues. She worked on judicial nominations, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination hearing.

Natalie earned a bachelor degree in philosophy from the University of Minnesota and her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. She co-chaired Women Winning's annual luncheon with Joan Growe in 2012 and currently serves on the organizations’ Federal and State PAC committees. Natalie lives in Saint Paul with her husband Steve and two stepsons Avery and Will.

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Lucia Watson

Lucia Watson

Board Member Read More
Lucia Watson

Lucia Watson

Board Member

Lucia Watson

Board Member


Board Member since: 2014

Chef Lucia Watson is the proprietor of Lucia’s Restaurant, Wine Bar, and Lucia’s To Go, one of the twin cities’ favorite neighborhood establishments. Lucia’s continuing popularity over the last two decades is a tribute to her sensibility in menu selection and her warm, congenial hospitality. After earning a BA in French from the University of Minnesota , she pursued her cooking in numerous restaurants with diverse instruction, including her first level Master Sommelier certificate. Chef Watson has written two books: Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland with co author Beth Dooley, and Cooking Freshwater Fish. Lucia has been honored with many awards over the last few years, including a James Beard Nomination for best chef in the Midwest in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Lucia served a four year term on the Organic Advisory Task Force to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. She is also a former board member of the Chef’s Collaborative, and has served as board chair for the Youth Farm and Market Project as well as the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. In 2013 Lucia was honored with a Charlie Lifetime Achievement award. ill.

KaYing Yang

KaYing Yang

Board Member Read More
KaYing Yang

KaYing Yang

Board Member

KaYing Yang

Board Member


Board Member since: 2017

Amanda Buhman

Amanda Buhman

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Amanda Buhman

Amanda Buhman

LAUNCH Committee Member

Amanda Buhman

LAUNCH Committee Member


Amanda is a Realtor with Sotheby's International Realty and a Manager at One Simple Plan, a public relations and brand engagement agency. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Amanda is a LAUNCH Committee Member and a LAUNCH Event Chair.

Amanda Koonjbeharry

Amanda Koonjbeharry

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Amanda Koonjbeharry

Amanda Koonjbeharry

LAUNCH Committee Member

Amanda Koonjbeharry

LAUNCH Committee Member


Amanda is a first generation American Indo-Guyanese. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Family Social Science, a Master’s of Social Work (MSW), and a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. Her professional career has been rooted in social and racial justice and has included work related to issues of poverty, housing/homelessness, mental illness, domestic violence, sexual violence and sexual assault, and human trafficking. Amanda currently works as an Administrative Manager at Hennepin County coordinating their anti-sex trafficking efforts, she is the co-founder of Hennepin County’s People of Color Employee Resource Group, she serves on the board of the Domestic Abuse Project, and is the co-director for the Twin Cities New Leaders Council chapter.

Abigail Mlinar

Abigail Mlinar

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Abigail Mlinar

Abigail Mlinar

LAUNCH Committee Member

Abigail Mlinar

LAUNCH Committee Member


 

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

LAUNCH Committee Member

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

LAUNCH Committee Member


Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke is a senior at the University of Minnesota where she is studying Plant Science with minors in Leadership Studies and Agricultural and Food Business Management. She grew up as a sixth generation agriculturalist on her family's corn and soybean farm in southwestern Minnesota. Haleigh is currently in her second year representing young women with disabilities and young women from Greater Minnesota on the Young Women's Initiative (YWI) of Minnesota Cabinet. In her position on the cabinet she co-chairs the YWI team on building pathways to economic opportunities and serves as the liaison to the womenwinning LAUNCH Committee. Haleigh also serves on the National Student Advisory Team for Agriculture Future of America and is the Youth Program Coordinator for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Aurora Vautrin

Aurora Vautrin

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Aurora Vautrin

Aurora Vautrin

LAUNCH Committee Member

Aurora Vautrin

LAUNCH Committee Member


Aurora Vautrin is a political and field organizer for Murphy for Minnesota and a senior Political Science student at Gustavus Adolphus College, with a minor in Gender and Women's Sexuality studies. Aurora got her start in politics volunteering for Margret Anderson Kelliher's campaign for Governor in 2010. She completed both an executive office internship and political department internship with womenwinning, before working as an organizer for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Aurora also serves on the Board of the League of Organizing Professionals.

Jessie Bergman

Jessie Bergman

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Jessie Bergman

Jessie Bergman

LAUNCH Committee Member

Jessie Bergman

LAUNCH Committee Member


 

Sophie Wallerstedt

Sophie Wallerstedt

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Sophie Wallerstedt

Sophie Wallerstedt

LAUNCH Committee Member

Sophie Wallerstedt

LAUNCH Committee Member


Sophie Wallerstedt is a legislative assistant for the state government relations team at Lockridge Grindal Nauen and a student at the University of Minnesota, pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy and a Master’s in Public Health. She first joined womenwinning as a volunteer for Wine, Chocolate, and Choice in 2012.Sophie is the co-founder and co-manager of the Minnesota Women’s Collective, a community that serves to connect, support, and inspire women across the Twin Cities. She also serves on the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council and is current co-chair of the Minneapolis DFL Ward 3 Committee.

Clare Verbeten

Clare Verbeten

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Clare Verbeten

Clare Verbeten

LAUNCH Committee Member

Clare Verbeten

LAUNCH Committee Member


Clare Verbeten is in her second year on the womenwinning Launch Committee. As a former Political Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT) intern for womenwinning, she worked on Peggy Flanagan’s campaign for State Representative. She demonstrated her passion for protecting and expanding the right to vote as a part of the Voter Expansion Department at the Democratic National Committee and Hillary for Minnesota’s 2016 Voter Protection Team. Clare worked with local DFL activists and volunteers across the state as the Party Affairs Director for the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party. Most recently, Clare joined the Walz-Flanagan gubernatorial campaign as the Deputy Political Director for the metro area. Clare earned her Bachelor's Degree in Law and Society from American University and was the first person to graduate from their prestigious 3-Year Politics, Policy and Law (PPL) Scholars Program. She is passionate about getting women, especially women of color, involved in politics. Clare plans to run for office in the near future.

Catherine Quinlan

Catherine Quinlan

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Catherine Quinlan

Catherine Quinlan

LAUNCH Committee Member

Catherine Quinlan

LAUNCH Committee Member


Catherine Quinlan is a portfolio manager at BMO Harris Bank where she structures financing and manages risk for commercial entities and non-profits. Born and raised in St. Paul, Catherine crossed the border to earn her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently chairs the Reach Communities committee for the young professionals group at BMO and serves on the Developing Leaders committee for W.I.S.E. (Women in a Supported Environment). In addition to her involvement with BMO’s affinity groups, Catherine is on the steering committee for the Pinky Swear Foundation’s 2015 gala.

Amanda Horner

Amanda Horner

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Amanda Horner

Amanda Horner

LAUNCH Committee Member

Amanda Horner

LAUNCH Committee Member


 

Mallory Mitchell

Mallory Mitchell

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Mallory Mitchell

Mallory Mitchell

LAUNCH Committee Member

Mallory Mitchell

LAUNCH Committee Member


Mallory Mitchell is the Development Manager at Minneapolis Urban League where she manages the organization's fund development, marketing and communications. Originally from Alabama, Mallory earned her bachelor's degree in business from the University of Montevallo. She then received her Master of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Mallory is active in the community as a board member for the YWCA of Minneapolis, Greater Minnesota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Diverse Daises.

Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson

Advancement Associate Read More
Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson

Advancement Associate

Taylor Anderson

Advancement Associate


Taylor grew up in the Twin Cities and thinks of herself as a champion for the great state of Minnesota. She discovered her passion for politics as a volunteer for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign for president and an intern for the Minnesota DFL. While enrolled at Mount Holyoke College, the first women’s college in the United States, she served as an intern for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for U.S. Senate. She stayed involved in politics throughout her college career as a leader in student political groups. Taylor graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke and was then employed as Curatorial Fellow and Guest Curator at the college’s art museum, where she gained valuable project management and communications experience. Upon her return to the Twin Cities, she joined the development department at Merrick Community Services, a social services nonprofit on the East Side of Saint Paul. At Merrick, Taylor oversaw the planning and execution of special events and fundraisers, cultivated and engaged donors, and contributed to the organization’s communications and outreach initiatives. As Advancement Associate, Taylor supports Women Winning's fundraising, marketing, and communications efforts.

Liz Young

Liz Young

Director of Advancement Read More
Liz Young

Liz Young

Director of Advancement

Liz Young

Director of Advancement


Liz Young has worked in politics for almost a decade and brings nearly nine years of fundraising experience with her to womenwinning. She has fundraising experience at all levels of government: federal, statewide, legislative and municipal. Most recently, she served on Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s transition team where she helped to organize his week of inaugural activities. Prior to that she spent five years with the MN Senate and served as the Senate DFL Caucus’ Finance Director in 2016.Liz has spent much of her career working to elect people of color and women to office. She served as Deputy Finance Director for Margaret Anderson Kelliher’s historic gubernatorial campaign when she became the first woman to be endorsed by a major party, a career highlight for Liz. An avid reader and baker, before working in politics she spent two years teaching English in Japan. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse University and holds a dual degree in Political Science and French.

Jillia Pessenda

Jillia Pessenda

Political Director Read More
Jillia Pessenda

Jillia Pessenda

Political Director

Jillia Pessenda

Political Director


Jillia has extensive experience working as a community organizer and fundraiser as well as campaign experience on the local, state and national level. At Project 515 and OutFront Minnesota, Jillia advocated for the passage of marriage equality and the Minnesota Safe & Supportive Schools Act. Jillia served as the Finance Director for womenwinning-endorsed candidate Ilhan Omar’s historic 2016 campaign. In 2017, Jillia was the first woman to run for the Ward 1 Minneapolis City Council seat, challenging a two-term incumbent. She was endorsed by over 16 organizations—including womenwinning—and came within two percentage points of winning. Originally from Duluth, Jillia graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts and lives in Minneapolis with her partner Monica and their beloved mutt Romeo.

Malika Dale

Malika Dale

LAUNCH Committee Member Read More
Malika Dale

Malika Dale

LAUNCH Committee Member

Malika Dale

LAUNCH Committee Member


Malika Dale is a consultant at Bay Area consulting group that uses design thinking to inform business strategy. She previously worked in CRISPR research and e-commerce. Malika got her start in politics by interning for NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota and Advocates for Youth in Washington, DC. Malika was recognized by the State of Minnesota's Young Women's Initiative with the Young Woman Leadership grant for her work with the Abortion Care Network.

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