Conference Presenters


Nic Baker, Sole Proprietor

Session: Grant Writing and Management

Nic Baker moved to Minnesota in 2010, after living in the Washington, DC area for 29 years. He spent most of that time as a private consultant specializing primarily in proposal and grant writing and management for a wide range of clients. This experience included providing formal and on-the-job training to proposal/grant writers and managers. In Minnesota, he was worked with MAVA and other nonprofits, reviewing and contributing to grants to foundations and governments.      

Shelli Beck, Lead Volunteer Coordinator, Lyngblomsten

Session: Volunteer Impact Leadership Training Series: Recruiting Volunteers

Shelli is currently part of the Volunteer Services team at Lyngblomsten, serving as the Lead Volunteer Coordinator.  Overseeing the youth volunteers and filling on-going volunteer openings keeps her busy,Lyngblomsten boasts a volunteer roster of approximately 1400 people.  As co-organizer of the Volgistics Users Gathering and Marketing committee member for MAVA, Shelli keeps busy with all sorts of volunteer management centered meetings.  Shelli gained much of her experience by being a"professional" volunteer while doubling as an at-home mom of three girls, but came into the field through an AmeriCorps position at Goodwill/Easter Seals a number of years ago.  One of her biggest passions in life is to motivate people to do what they love.  Shelli has a Business Administration degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.

Lisa Braun,  St. Cloud Area RSVP

Session: Critical Thinking for Creative Connections: Sustaining Your Peer to Peer Network

Lisa J. Braun has been with RSVP for more than 25 years. RSVP works with 1,380 senior volunteers age 55 and better who serve at 225 human service agencies. Lisa was a news anchor, reporter and producer for KCMT-television and KXLI television before coming to RSVP. Lisa began volunteering as young child with her mother and grandparents and continues to carry on that family tradition. Lisa currently serves on several non-profit boards and is an active volunteer with the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District as Chair of the Board of Educaiton.  She has been the Volunteer Director for the Wheels, Wings and Water/Granite City  Festival since 1992. Lisa is also the Stearns and Benton County Disaster Resource Director responsible for donated goods, financial contributions and volunteers in the event of a disaster. She was honored in 2005 as the Minnesota Association of Emergency Managers Outstanding Volunteer and was also the 2002 Sauk Rapids Citizen of the Year.

Katie Bull, MAVA

Session: The New Volunteer Workforce: Exploring Trends and Changes in Volunteerism

Katie is the full time Membership, Communications and Services Manager at MAVA. She keeps MAVA running on a daily basis, answering questions, setting up trainings and events, and communicating with members. Prior to MAVA, Katie served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at CommonBond Communities and as a VISTA Leader at the Minnesota Literacy Council, where she honed her volunteer management skills.  Katie earned her BA in English from the University of Minnesota. She has volunteered as an English teacher in the U.S. and Africa and received her Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Hamline University. Since starting at MAVA in 2008, Katie has expanded the MAVA AmeriCorps*VISTA cohort and been to all corners of the state to present trainings on MAVA initiatives.


Cassie Clark, myHealth for Teens and Young Adults (fka West Suburaban Teen Clinic)

Session: Those You Serve Can Be Your Best Volunteers

Cassie Clark is the Volunteer Coordinator at myHealth. Cassie has managed the Volunteer program there for one year, but has coordinated volunteers with organizations since graduating from college in 2007. She has and led over 600 volunteers for a one-day event with the American Cancer Society. In her free time, she also engages in volunteerism in the community. She has presented to groups for over five years and holds a Competent Communicator status with Toastmasters

Gayle Cmiel,  Minnesota Historical Society 

Session: Set-Up and Wrap-Up your Program Goals with Volgistics

Gayle has been in Volunteer Management for 25 years, and spent 19 of those years managing volunteers in the healthcare setting until she joined the Minnesota Historical Society. She has also served as a past trainer and Board member for MAVA. She uses Volgistics on a daily basis and is learning new things everyday!

Ken Culp III, University of Kentucky

Session 1: Follow the Playbook! Executing a Successful Annual Meeting
Session 2 : Making Ethical Decisions in Volunteer and Service Programs
Session 3: Members, Volunteers or Leaders:  Which does your organization have? Which does it need?
Session 5: Recruiting and Engaging Pro Bono Volunteers (How to get something for nothing!)

Dr. Ken Culp, III is the Principal Specialist for Volunteerism at the University of Kentucky.  He is responsible for program development, staff development, research and service activities related to volunteerism across the commonwealth of Kentucky.  Additionally, Ken works as a private consultant in volunteerism to non-profit organizations nationwide.  Dr. Culp has published 30 articles in refereed journals and has made more than 400 presentations on a variety of topics related to volunteerism.

Carol Dixon, Providence Health Care 

Session 1: True Colors
Session 2:
How the Olympics Inspired Me to Be a Better Volunteer Manager

Carol Dixon has managed volunteer programs in health care for over 15 years and is currently Director of Volunteer Resources for Providence Health Care, the catholic family of hospitals and residences in Vancouver. Providence Health Care has seven sites, both acute, residential and hospice care and nearly 1500 volunteers. Carol holds undergraduate degrees in both biology and gerontology and has most of a masters degree in Organizational Development and Adult Learning. She has presented across Canada and in Europe on Volunteer Management. Now that her boys are launched into the world Carol lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her husband Richard and their dog, Larry.

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Katie Elden, Park Nicollet

Session: Diversify your Volunteer Base: The 4-Legged Approach

Katie Elden has worked in Volunteer Administration for 7 years.  She has overseen the “Caring Canines” Pet Therapy program at Park Nicollet Health Services for the past 3 years.  The Caring Canines visit
Park Nicollet Patients at Methodist Hospital, Melrose Institute for Eating Disorders, as well as Home Hospice.  There are 14 Caring Canines teams at Park Nicollet; the smallest is a miniature schnauzer named Elsa and the largest are a Saint Bernard named Habibi and a Newfoundland named Sadie

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Elizabeth Ellis

Session 1: Volunteer Impact Leadership Training Series: Capturing Volunteer Motivation and Conducting Effective Interviews
Session 2: Volunteer Impact Leadership Training Series: Planning for Retention

Elizabeth Ellis currently serves as Rural Communities Liaison and Steering Committee Member for Volunteer Wisconsin, the first state wide office on volunteerism whose mission is to promote, educate and support volunteerism for positive community impact. Elizabeth has worked for over 20 years in community partnership development, fundraising, training and volunteer management in both the private and non-profit sector including the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Girls Scouts, Face to Face Health and Counseling and Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. Elizabeth is a national trainer, founding member and instructor for MAVA’s Volunteer Resources Leadership (VRL) series and holds a BA in Non-profit Administration and Resource Development & mini MBA in Nonprofit Organization from St.Thomas University. Most recently she co-authored and published an article for The Center of Rural Policy and Development, 2012 Minnesota Rural Journal entitled, "Rural Volunteers: A Vital Force on Fertile Ground" addressing generational transitions affecting volunteering throughout Greater Minnesota. Elizabeth was awarded the 2008 Mary Wiser Award for Excellence in Volunteer Administration.

Susan Ellis, President of Energize Inc

Session 1: Resistance to Change
Session 2: Volunteer Program Collaborations 

Susan J. Ellis is President of Energize, Inc., a training, consulting, and publishing firm that specializes in volunteerism. She founded the Philadelphia-based company in 1977 and since that time has assisted clients throughout North America (48 states and 6 provinces),Europe (11 countries), Asia (4 countries), Latin America (2 countries),Australasia (2 countries), and Israel to create or strengthen their volunteer corps.

Susan is the author or co-author of twelve books, including From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement and The Volunteer Recruitment (and Membership Development) Book - several of which have been translated into Japanese, Taiwanese, French, and Italian. Her books can be found in the online bookstore. From 1981 to 1987 she was Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Volunteer Administration. She has written more than 120 articles on volunteer management for dozens of publications and writes the national bi-monthly column, "On Volunteers," for The NonProfit Times.

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Melissa Eystad, Little Free Library, Ltd.

Session: The Ultimate Volunteer Leader’s Challenge: Managing a Movement

Melissa Eystad has worked in volunteer and community engagement across the sectors in Minnesota for more than 25 years, providing training and conferences and numerous articles and publications for volunteer administrators and grantmakers. She is president and founder of World Spirit Consulting which provides training, consultation and technical assistance in philanthropy, volunteer development and management of non-governmental organizations. Her current role as Director of Organizational Development for Little Free Library, Ltd. has brought new ways to envision the role of volunteers in social entrepreneurship initiatives.

Adam Faitek, AccountAbility Minnesota

Session: Raising Money with Volunteers

Adam Faitek – Adam is AccountAbility Minnesota’s Volunteer Resources Director. He is a graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota where he earned a master's degree in public policy. Adam has an array of financial services, volunteer management and political campaign experience. He has worked for U.S. Bancorp in their credit administration division, and managed volunteers as a field director for citywide and congressional political campaigns and for the Red Cross in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Jenny Friedman, Doing Good Together

Session: Supporting Families in Serving Others: Building an Effective Family Volunteer Program

Jenny Friedman, Ph.D. is founder and Executive Director of Doing Good Together (www.doinggoodtogether.org), the author of The Busy Family’s Guide to Volunteering (Gryphon House, 2003), and co-author of Doing Good Together: 101 Easy, Meaningful Service Projects for Families, Schools and Communities (Free Spirit, 2012). Doing Good Together (DGT) is a Twin Cities–based nonprofit that inspires and helps families volunteer. DGT encourages family volunteering by communicating directly with families (via publications, presentations, workshops and website) and also by working with organizations to build their capacity to more fully engage families in service. Friedman has consulted with many nonprofits, including Metro Meals on Wheels, Global Citizens Network, Nest, Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly, and Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, to assist them in developing comprehensive family volunteer programs.

Lee George, The Work Space

Session 1: Engaging Talents of the 50+ Next Steps
Session 2: The Ultimate Volunteer Leader's Challenge: Managing a Movement

Lee George is the Executive Director of The Work Space,a nonprofit dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs as they build their business and their community. He is also President of the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration where he trains professionals to engage their communities in powerful ways to create sustainable solutions to social issues.  Lee has worked as the Volunteer and Marketing Manager for the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance and Minnesota Stroke Association. Lee draws from his experiences in the Peace Corps, lifelong volunteering and social justice work to help build active and healthy communities.

Tony Goodrow, Volunteer2

Session 1: The Scarce Resources Model for Measuring the ROI of Volunteer Engagement
Session 2:
The Philosophy of Volunteering

Tony was the founder of the Carpenter Hospice in Burlington and Board Chair for eight years. He is currently the founding chair of the Halton Social Enterprise Centre. Tony has been recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture, received the June Callwood award for volunteerism and is one of only three recipients of the designation of Patron of Burlington.  In 2000, Tony began to combine his experiences as a volunteer in a variety of organizations with his knowledge of the internet and data management. The result of this effort is Volunteer Impact, software that helps in the management of volunteers in terms of communications, scheduling and reporting.   Tony has presented on a variety of topics at conferences on volunteerism in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Jay Haapala, Minnesota Children's Museum

Session 1 : Samaritans at the Gate: Influencing leadership to invest in volunteerism
Session 2: Using Sales Techniques to Maximize Recruitment

Jay Haapala is the Associate State Director of Community Outreach at AARP.  Previously, he worked as the Volunteer Services Manager at the Minnesota Children’s Museum and in American Red Cross Disaster Services. Jay also serves on the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration board of directors and volunteers his time with the Minnesota Minute Men who seek to promote goodwill through sports.

Jennifer Harveland

Session: Using a Time Bank to Engage Volunteers and Expand Organizational Capacity

Jennifer is a timebank Coordinator with a background in volunteer/community organizing. She has been a member of her timebank since its inception and has been the Coordinator for a year and a half.


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Denise Rene Hannah, Cerenity Senior Care 

Session: Facilitating Volunteer Engagement to Lead Communities

Denise Rene Hannah has over 15 years’ experience in community engagement in faith based, non-profit and governmental sectors.  She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota in the Economics of Youth Development: A Global Perspective.  She has a graduate certificate in Child Abuse Prevention.  Being the ninth oldest out of eighty one grandchildren she learned at an early age that consensus building and facilitation are essential skills in working with any group

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Cathy Hartle, Initiative Foundation

Session: What Keeps You CEO Awake at Night?

Cathy is recently retired after working nearly 10 years at the Initiative Foundation overseeing, training, and evaluating programs to help strengthen not-for-profit organizations. She has served on local and statewide boards for over 20 years, and is involved in community development, social justice, arts, and civic engagement efforts. Her support, encouragement and gifted leadership were very instrumental to MAVA’s work in Greater Minnesota. Cathy holds a Master’s Degree Counseling Psychology, St. Mary’s University, Minnesota, has steadily continued her education, including participating in multiple training events through nationally recognized organizations such as BoardSource, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, and the Nonprofits Assistance Fund.



William Henry, Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc.

Session: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Managing Volunteers' Accident and Liability Risks

William Henry is executive director of Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc., based in Woodbridge, VA. VIS® is a risk purchasing group that makes insurance programs and risk management services available to private-sector nonprofit organizations and public entities that engage volunteers, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Before his appointment to the leadership of VIS® in January 2011, Henry was vice president and director of communication at The CIMA Companies, the insurance broker that serves VIS and its members. He also has been director of public affairs for the Associated General Contractors of America, and a reporter for two daily newspapers in North Carolina. His activity in the nonprofit community includes serving on the advisory board of The Salvation Army in Leesburg, VA, where he lives. His LinkedIn profile is at www.linkedin.com/in/williamrhenry.


Heidi Haugen, University of MN Extension

Session 1: Maintaining Motivation in Today’s Volunteers
Session 2:
Essential Risk Management: Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers
Session 3: Recruiting Volunteers for Leadership Roles

Dr. Heidi Haugen serves as a volunteer and partnership development Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota Extension. She has facilitated learning on volunteer management at regional, state, and national conferences for the past several years in Minnesota as well as in other states and overseas in the past 11 years.

Jody Janati, University of MN

Session: Balance Your Conflict – 101 Things to Do and Say during Difficult Interactions

Jody Janati has an Ed.D. degree in Organizational Leadership, and a M.A. degree in Speech Communication. She currently teaches in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. Her primary interest area pertains to interpersonal conflict resolution strategies. She offers a variety of public and professional workshops on conflict reduction tactics and effective interpersonal communication skills throughout the year.


Lisa Joyslin, American Red Cross, Northern Minnesota Region

Session: Ready for Anything: Preparing Your Volunteer Program for Disasters

Lisa Joyslin is the Volunteer Resources Director for the American Red Cross, Northern Minnesota Region. Prior to working at the Red Cross, Lisa was the Volunteer Center Program Director at Community Thread, and also held positions with Hands on Twin Cities and Chicago Cares. She holds a Masters of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and holds a B.A. in English from Valparaiso University. Lisa is a member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network-Twin Cities board of directors.


Faiza Kanji, YMCA of Greater Toronto

Session: Youth Matter!  Introducing Youth into Volunteerism

From a very young age, Faiza Kanji's parents instilled in herself and her brothers a strong sense of volunteerism. They, as immigrants to Canada almost 40 years ago, made a successful transition into Canadian life with the help of many kind and generous volunteers. A volunteer herself from a very young age, Faiza has successfully managed volunteers at the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), Youth Employment Service (YES) the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) and Surrey Place Centre. She is currently General Manager, Volunteer Development at the YMCA of Greater Toronto and a designated Certified Volunteer Resources Manager (CVRM.) Faiza is also an active member and volunteer of the Toronto Association for Volunteer Administrators (TAVA) and Professional Administrators of Volunteer Resources – Ontario (PAVR-O) where is the two time recipient of the President's Award in recognition of her volunteer contributions. She is also the Ontario Regional Representative for the Canadian Journal of Volunteer Resources Management (CJVRM) and a member of Canadian Administrators of Volunteer Resources (CAVR.) Faiza believes strongly that a community with a sound sense of volunteerism and a committed volunteer base improves the overall quality of life and health of all its members.


Risë Kasmirski, VisualU Career Strategies

Session: Career Management 2013 – Challenges and Opportunities to Stay on Your Path

Risë Kasmirski is a Career Strategist and Executive Coach with 20+ years of diverse experience in Career Management, Outplacement, Employee Learning and Development, Organizational and Leadership Development. She has trained and consulted with all levels of employees from entry level to executive in many organizations nationwide. Risë provides individualized career coaching and group training to develop skills and strategies needed for successful career transitions within and outside of organizations.  Her expertise includes; career assessment, career planning, personal branding, resume and online profile development, social networking, interviewing, negotiating, and onboarding. She is widely acknowledged for her passion, insight and ability to strategize solutions for the unique needs of her clients. Risë holds a Master of Arts Degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota (emphasis on Individual and Organization Psychology), and is an Internationally certified Professional Coach through International Coach Federation.

 Karen Kendall CVA, Minnesota Historical Society

Session 1: Set-up, Keep-up, and Wrap-up your Program Goals with Volgistics
Session 2: Volunteer Impact Leadership Training Series: Recognizing Volunteers

Karen has over 15 years in Volunteer Management and has a mini-MBA in Volunteer Management from the University of St. Thomas. She became certified in Volunteer Administration in 2005. She has been a MAVA trainer for 2 years and serves as the Volgistics administrator for the Minnesota Historical Society.

Michael Koecheler, RSVP Volunteer Services

Session: Volunteerism in the 21st Century- Voicecasting

Mike Koecheler will guide conference attendees to think about a NEW and innovative way to empower volunteers, meet the needs of “Baby Boomers”, and build an overall excitement around volunteerism and social justice. Mike left the business world of sales and bottom-line and jumped headfirst into social justice and volunteerism by forming tight bonds with change-makers from around the area. Mike has devoted both his work and personal life to improving support systems for all people, especially those who are elderly and venerable. Mike’s current position of Volunteer Director for the RSVP program of Crow Wing County has placed him in a unique place to redefine and transform traditional volunteerism, while at the same time supporting, rather than supplanting, existing safety net services. Most recently Mike has developed a NEW and innovative approach/program which allows him to dispatch one or a thousand volunteers within seconds to meet urgent needs. He continues to draw on the strength of the community while at the same time providing leadership, facilitation, and consultation to non-profit organizations and individuals in response to emerging societal changes.

Tim Landsberger, The McDowell Agency, Inc.

Session: Essential Risk Management: Criminal Background Checks for Volunteers

Tim Landsberger is the Director, Sales and Marketing of The McDowell Agency, Inc., a licensed private investigation firm that has been performing criminal background checks for over 25 years specializing in the non-profit market.  Tim is recognized as an expert on background screening and is frequently asked to present to both the public and private sector on this topic.  The McDowell Agency, Inc. is endorsed by both the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) and the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools (MACS) as the preferred provider of background checks for their employees and volunteers.

Phil Losacker, Memorial Blood Centers

Session: Corporate Community Involvement

Phil Losacker (moderator) is currently the Volunteer Services Manager with Memorial Blood Centers. Phil serves on the Board of Directors of the Corporate Volunteerism Council of the Twin Cities and is a past MAVA Conference Chair and former MAVA Board Member.

Zeeda Magnuson, Hands on Twin Cities

Session 1: Putting it All Together:  Understanding your Supervisory Style
Session 2: Corporate Giving Gardens

Zeeda develops and facilitates the HandsOn Twin Cities’ quarterly training schedule offering a variety of nonprofit management topics given to nonprofit and corporate audiences, training Service Corps members, nonprofit staff members, and volunteers.      She also offers consultation services including “Changing the Paradigm” program assessments through HandsOn Twin Cities.  The assessments are offered to corporate and nonprofit organizations looking to strengthen their volunteer program.    Zeeda is a recipient of the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration’s “Excellence in Leadership Award.”

Bethany Mammenga, Ecolab Foundation

Session: Social Media; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Bethany has worked in nonprofits for 13 years. In her current position, she provides software support for TIES, a technology company that develops software for Minnesota school districts. She also manages social media for the Ecolab Foundation. In past positions, she has worked in business development, finance, marketing and provided leadership for a volunteer program of 9,000 volunteers per year. She has launched and managed social media for the Minnesota Daily Alumni Association, Corporate Volunteerism Council - Twin Cities, Ecolab Foundation and Social Enterprise Alliance – Twin Cities, and has served as a consultant and trainer for other nonprofit organizations getting started in social media. She has a Bachelor's of Science in Business from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management, and a Master's in Business Administration from Bethel University.

Stephanie McCabe, Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging

Session: Motivation and Retention Strategies for Reaching Volunteers Across Generations

Stephanie McCabe is a Senior Outreach Specialist for the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging, a Youth Counselor for the Leo A. Hoffmann Center, and a Masters student at the University of St.Thomas/St. Catherine University in St. Paul seeking her Masters in Social Work.  She is interested in volunteer motivation and retention strategies across a generational perspective and completed her Masters paper on the
topic.

Virginia McCollum, The Joint Commission

Session: Healthcare Joint Commission Presentation

Virginia McCollum currently holds the position of Associate Director in the Department of Standards Interpretation at The Joint Commission. In this position, she provides interpretation of standards, serves as faculty for surveyor and other education programs, conducts Periodic Performance Review conference calls, and consults in the development of standards and survey processes. Ms. McCollum is also a certified surveyor for The Joint Commission’s Ambulatory Accreditation Program.

Ms. McCollum has extensive experience in Ambulatory Health Care, Performance Improvement, Education, Managed Care, Emergency/Trauma, and regulatory compliance (The Joint Commission, HIPAA, and Managed Care Organizations).

Most recently, Ms. McCollum was Director of Quality and Education for Access Community Health Network in Chicago, Illinois – a 45-site community health organization funded by the Bureau of Primary Health Care. Over the years, she has worked in various leadership and administrative positions and as a consultant. Additionally, she was a member of the State of Illinois Ambulatory Surgical Licensing Board. Ms. McCollum previously served as faculty at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, for the Nursing Graduate Program, Health Care Outcomes Management.

Ms. McCollum obtained her undergraduate degrees (BSN, BS) from Trinity Christian College and the College of St. Francis in Illinois, and her Masters in Nursing from Governors State University, University Park, Illinois.

Theresa Moerbitz, American Red Cross, Northern Minnesota Region

Session: Ready for Anything: Preparing your Volunteer Program for Disasters

Theresa is a former middle/high school science teacher.  She later founded and directed a Spanish immersion preschool, engaging community volunteers and preschool families to run her business.  Theresa spent 5 years as the Volunteer Coordinator for her children’s elementary school serving on the district’s site council, PTO and volunteer recruitment committees.  Prior to coming to the Red Cross in the volunteer staffing department, she served as a volunteer with the organization and assisted in the engagement and recruitment of volunteers for several local disasters.  Theresa has been employed with the Red Cross for 1 ½ years and is currently managing the volunteer staffing of the Emergency Services Department of the Northern MN Region which includes around 700 volunteers.

Lisa Munson, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN

Session: Diversify your Volunteer Base: the 4-Legged Approach

Lisa Munson has worked in Volunteer Administration since 2002.  She has worked  in Volunteer Services at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for four years. For the past year, Lisa has coordinated the PAWH (Pets Assisting with Healing) program at Children's.     PAWH program volunteers visit patients and their families at Children's Hospital in St. Paul and Minneapolis.  PAWH teams are also involved in therapy sessions with children. Depending on a child's therapy goals and motivational needs, PAWH volunteers may help a child in a variety of activities from brushing the dog's teeth to completing an obstacle course.

Jean Nierenhausen, Minnesota Historical Society

Session: Set-up, Keep-up and Wrap-Up your Program Goals with Volgistics

Jean has been in the Volunteer Management field for 25 years, 20 of which have been spent at the Minnesota Historical Society. She was a founding member of MAVA and served as one of the first board members. She has lead diverse team of staff to grow the Volunteer program from fewer than 40 volunteers to 2200 volunteers and interns today at 26 geographic sites across the state of Minnesota. The Historical Society has been using Volgistics to manage the volunteer program for four years.

Stacy Opitz, AccountAbility Minnesota

Session: Raising Money with Volunteers

Stacy joined AccountAbility Minnesota in November 2009. As marketing and communications director, she oversees all public relations and media strategies. Stacy graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with degrees in Spanish and public relations. She has worked in various fundraising and communications roles at Casa de Esperanza, Hennepin County Library and CLUES. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Riverview Economic Development Association( REDA). 

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Jon Pratt, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Session: What is Keeping Your CEO Awake at Night?

Jon Pratt is the executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. His previous positions were at the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, Youth Project, and the Philanthropy Project. He also served as the campaign manager for Paul Wellstone candidacy for MN State Auditor. Jon has consulted with nongovernmental organizations on the development of NGO associations and services in Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Turkey. Pratt has a law degree from Antioch School of Law, and a M.P.A. from Harvard University.


Mary Quirk, MAVA

Session 1: Engaging Talents of the 50+: Next Steps
Session 2:
Volunteerism 2020 and Beyond

Mary Quirk is the Executive Director for the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration, MAVA.  She manages MAVA’s statewide initiatives to increase training and resources for leaders of volunteers  Previously she directed two volunteer-based nonprofit organizations, Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly and Southeast Seniors, A Living at Home Block Nurse Program

Katherine Ramundt, M.A.

Session: Using a Time Bank to Engage Volunteers and Expand Organizational Capacity

Kathy is a gerontologist who did her Master’s thesis on “Using a Time Bank to Enable Seniors to Age in Community”.  She is a member of the Hour Dollars Time Bank in St. Paul, and is in the process of creating a time bank in Roseville, MN.

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Janene Riedeman, St. Cloud Hospital

Session: Volunteer Impact Leadership Training Series: Managing Risk

Janene currently manages the Volunteer Services Department at St. Cloud Hospital, which includes the Adult and Junior Volunteer programs, the St. Cloud Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary, the hospital gift shop, Lifeline personal response system, Home Delivered Meals, and a hospitality house.  Previously Janene worked as the Director of the March of Dimes Central MN Division, working with volunteer groups throughout 12 counties to execute special events, programming, and grant funding.  Janene has served in leadership positions and on boards for several professional groups, including;  St. Cloud Area Volunteer Coordinators, HealthCare Auxiliaries of MN, Administrators of Healthcare Volunteers and the MN Association for Volunteer Administration.

Polly Roach, Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota

Session: Volunteerism 2020 and Beyond

Polly Roach
is Vice President - Strategic Services, at the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota, where she works with youth-adult mentoring programs around the state to enhance program quality and build their capacity to reach all youth in need of caring adults.  Prior to this position, she directed a one-to-one mentoring program at the YWCA of St. Paul for 16 years. Polly holds a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota, and is actively involved in initiatives that promote meaningful youth-adult partnerships and civic engagement, such as youthrive/Peace Jam and the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration.

Judie Russell, MAVA

Session 1: Critical Thinking for Creative Connections: Sustaining Your Peer to Peer Network
Session 2: What is Keeping your CEO awake at Night?

Former Director of Volunteer Services for Children’s Home Society of Minnesota, is a Licensed Social Worker and has over thirty five years of professional experience in human services and community organization.  She currently serves on the board of the Minnesota Association of Volunteer Directors and ServeMinnesota and is a consultant in community organization.

Susan T. Schuster, Blue Cross Blue Shield

Session: Corporate Giving Gardens

Susan T. Schuster is a multifaceted leader specializing in corporate citizenship, community relations, communications and traditional human resources functions, including employee total rewards, recognition and employee engagement. Currently the Senior Community Affairs Consultant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Schuster is a passionate advocate for community involvement. Experienced leading community nonprofit initiatives and collaborating across corporate, nonprofit and government sectors to accomplish goals, Schuster tirelessly pursues her passion for making meaningful connections between people, organizations and opportunities. Certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, past work experience includes consulting and human resources leadership positions at major Twin Cities organizations. She has served on multiple nonprofit boards and earned her MBA from the University of Saint Thomas. As founder of the Twin Cities Corporate Giving Garden Network and employee engagement champion for her company Green Team, she has nurtured her commitment to making a healthy difference in people's lives through innovation in corporate community engagement. She enthusiastically shares her experiences with others, most recently as a featured presenter at the 2012 Points of Light National Conference on Volunteering and Service and at the 2013 St. Kate's Leadership Challenge Conference, as a featured speaker on Corporate Community Involvement: A Roadmap to Enhance Employee Engagement.

Erin Spink, PAVR-O

Session: Improving Volunteer Engagement

Erin is currently serving her second term as President of PAVR-O, the provincial association for Volunteer Engagement professionals in Ontario. Erin is a recognized thought leader, having completed the only academic research in the world which quantified the concept of Volunteer Engagement. With this research, Erin graduated with a Masters of Arts in Leadership, and has published her research internationally. In 2011, Erin was selected as one of only 17 young Canadians to become an Action Canada Fellow, where her leadership skills were further honed. For the past 5 years, Erin has been a faculty member at Ontario's leading College, teaching volunteer management basics, and now Leadership through the lens of Volunteer Management.

Lisa Stordahl, myHealth for Teens and Young Adults (fka West Suburaban Teen Clinic)

Session: Those You Serve Can Be Your Best Volunteers

Lisa has served in an executive leadership position for the past 15 years for various organizations in the non-profit and government sector which included leading and creating volunteer programs. She has been a lifelong volunteer and has been awarded the Brooklyn Park Mayor’s Good Citizenship Award, and the WCCO Young Achiever and Good Neighbor Awards. She is currently actively serving the community as Ms. Minnesota.

Terry Straub, U of MN Extension -- Master Gardener Program, Hennepin County

Session 1: Are You in the Driver’s Seat?: A new look at volunteer motivation!
Session 2: Volunteer Impact Training Series: Positioning Your Volunteer Program for Success

Terry Straub is the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator in Hennepin County, working with over 350 volunteers who provide horticulture education throughout the state’s largest county.  Working with volunteers for most of his career, Terry has been the Director of the RSVP of the Greater Twin Cities, Volunteer Program Manager for the former Minnesota Office of Citizenship and Volunteer Services and the Minnesota AIDS Project. He has served as a Board President for the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA), chaired the MAVA Committee on Boomer Volunteers and is a presents on various topics for the organization.  Terry was the proud recipient of the 2008 MAVA Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership.  He’s also received the Dean’s Distinguished Extension Program Staff Award (2009.)  Terry is adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas, teaching the Volunteer Management portion of the Mini-MBA in Nonprofit Management.

Charlotte Strei, Greater St. Cloud Area RSVP

Session: Volunteer Impact Leadership Series: Singing your Praises....Measuring your Impact

Charlotte currently coordinates the 300+ RSVP volunteers in Sherburne County Minnesota serving over 70 non-profit and public agencies int he area. Charlotte has been in her current position for over 22 years. She also provides community information and referral for local volunteers of all ages on behalf of The Volunteer Bridge of greater Sherburne County. Prior to RSVP, Charlotte was the Volunteer Coordinator and Assistant Activity Director at Westwood Health Care, a long-term care facility in St.Louis Park, Minnesota.  Charlotte has a bachelor’s degree in Management fromMinnesota State University Moorhead, with a concentration in Human Resources and Hospital Administration.

Heather Thormodson, West Central MN Communities Action

Session: Where are We Going? Destination Volunteerism in a Rural Setting
Session 2: Engaging Talents of the 50+ Next Steps

Heather has her M.S. in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University-Mankato and over 17 years of experience in the volunteer management field. Heather works at West Central Minnesota Communities Action Inc., where she serves as the RSVP Director. She has developed and delivered training sessions to volunteers and staff in previous jobs surrounding a variety of topics: orientation to volunteerism, sensitivity training, and workplace safety to name a few. Currently she also serves as a Volunteer Resources trainer for MAVA (Minnesota Association of Volunteer Administrators) in which she has covered topics such as: recruitment, retention, supervision, recognition, managing risk and motivation/interviews of the volunteer management field. Heather has also trained for MAVA their Train-the-Trainer and Baby Boomer courses.  Heather is co-founder of True North Consulting, for which a variety of volunteerism related topics are currently being developed. She enjoys quilting with her mom, registered red/ black & white Holstein dairy farming with her dad, gardening and being outdoors with her husband and four year old son. Heather has a passion for being a strong advocate for reducing the effects of poverty in rural west central Minnesota and takes pride in her country roots.


Austine Vaughn, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Session: Samaritans at the Gate: Influencing Leadership to Invest in Volunteerism

Austine Vaughn began volunteering with her grandmother in the St. Paul neighborhood where she grew up at a young age, and went on to pursue a career as an advocate for volunteerism in the Twin Cities.  She has been developing and directing the efforts of volunteer programs, building relationships in the community and "paying it forward" for nearly 15 years. She has worked at nonprofit organizations such as the Animal Humane Society,The Bakken Museum  and the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation and continues to honor those who give so generously of their time and resources.

Angela Vincent, Yoga Instructor

Session:  Yoga

Angela is a yoga instructor, birth doula and social worker.  Angela is in complete awe of the human capacity to courageously and creatively step into life. She believes in the power of community building and the wisdom that ignites through yoga and self inquiry. Angela invites students to bring curiosity to their yoga mats. Through creative sequencing and attention to breath, she creates a safe space for students to explore their edges and listen deeply. She teaches vinyasa (infused with wisdom from the Ashtanga and Iyengar traditions), gentle yoga and prenatal yoga. Her classes are infused with compassion, simplicity and spirit.

Megan Vixie, Beach Cities Health District

Session: Leveraging Human Resources to Manage Volunteer Talent

Megan Vixie has worked in the field of volunteer management for the past seven years.  Through her leadership at the Beach Cities Health District, the Volunteer Services program now hosts over 600 volunteers annually in more than 20 various programs.  In 2009, she led her team in merging Volunteer Services with Human Resources in order to streamline volunteer processes, creating more efficiency and support for volunteer programs.  Megan also currently serves as the President of the Directors of Volunteers in Agencies for the Los Angeles Chapter (DOVIA-LA), a professional group providing networking opportunities and professional development to non-profits and agencies throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with an emphasis in Non Profit Administration from the University of Southern California and a Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA).

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Greg Voss, Little Brother, Friends of the Elderly

Session: What is Keeping your CEO Awake at Night?

Greg Voss has spent the last 31 years working in the non-profit sector and is currently serving as the executive director for the Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly, an organization pairing volunteers with older adults. Previously he worked at the YMCA and American Red Cross. He is also very involved in the community and volunteers with the American Cancer Society, Wright County Crisis Nursery, MAVA, Hands on Twin Cites and youth sports.

Katie Walsh, Hands on Twin Cities

Session: Putting it all together: Understanding your Supervisory Style

Katie has been on staff at HandsOn Twin Cities since 1998 when she joined The Volunteer Center in St. Paul as the Community Recruitment Specialist. As Program Director, Katie oversees the affiliation program and services for nonprofit organizations and the Impact Now program; ongoing groups of volunteers led by trained HandsOn project coordinators.  Katie also provides support to HandsOn Twin Cities training and consulting services.  Katie has served on MAVA's Professional Development Committee since 2006.

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Amy Wagner, MAP for Nonprofits

Session: What is Keeping Your CEO Awake at Night?

Amy Wagner is associate director at MAP for Nonprofits where she manages the business units within MAP and guides the implantation of the strategic plan. She has served on numerous boards, committees and panels, including the Corporate Volunteerism Council – Twin Cities, IFP Minnesota, the GiveMN Strategy Cabinet, and she recently joined the program committee of the Social Enteprise Alliance– Twin Cities. Amy gained her volunteer management experience by work at Madison’s AIDS support Network after she graduated from the University of WE Madison with honors and degrees in business and international relations.

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Lori-Anne Williams, AccountAbility Minnesota

Session: Raising Money with Volunteers

Lori-Anne joined AccountAbility Minnesota as the development director in 2011. She has been working in the nonprofit sector in various development and communications roles since 1983. As a grant writer, Lori-Anne has secured funding from corporate, foundation, and government agencies. Lori-Anne is also an experienced teacher and presenter, having taught at the Minnesota Council on Foundations, University of St. Thomas and at conferences around the country. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in liberal studies from the University of Minnesota.


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