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Facilitator Bios 

Adriane Lepage (she/her) is a strategic advisor for nonprofit executive leadership and their boards. She brings over 15 years’ experience in strategic visioning and team development, spanning from private sector tech to nonprofit senior leadership, from Google to Girl Scouts, and includes extensive work on diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and racial justice. Adriane holds a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on nonprofit management from the University of Southern California and is a certified volunteer administrator. In 2021, she received MAVA’s award for Excellence in Volunteer Program Development.

Becky Mares (she/her) joined Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) as the Statewide Volunteer Coordinator in July 2019. With a personal passion for the outdoors, she is excited to listen, learn, and lend a hand to inspiring all people to be stewards of our natural resources. Prior to CPW, Becky spent 10 years with the Cooking Matters campaign in Colorado. Becky has 17 years of experience in volunteer management, community partner engagement, building programs from the ground-up, outcomes tracking and evaluation, and publication development. A collaborative and resourceful team leader, Becky is passionate about food and nutrition, wilderness and sustainability, education, social justice and equity, and cultural diversity. She is proficient in Spanish.

Beth Steinhorn (she/her) partners with organizations and their leadership to increase impact through strategic and innovative engagement. She regularly participates in the national dialogue about volunteerism and engagement and is co-editor of the new book, Transforming Disruption to Impact: Rethinking Volunteer Engagement for a Rapidly Changing World. Beth provides consulting and training to organizations across the US and Canada, including supporting dozens of organizations to become certified Service Enterprises.

Betsy McFarland (she/her) has dedicated her career to mobilizing passionate individuals to tackle challenging societal issues. As a principal consultant at Adisa and Energize, Betsy specializes in maximizing the impact of volunteers by helping leaders align volunteer engagement efforts with their mission. She offers comprehensive assessments of current volunteer engagement strategies and provides customized support in strategy development, implementation and training to ensure efficient and effective achievement of organizational goals. With more than 25 years of experience in engaging and growing volunteer efforts in organizations of all sizes, Betsy is a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA). She began her career by developing the first-ever volunteer program for a local animal shelter. She went on to spearhead the launch of The Humane Society National Volunteer Center, the first broad-scale, coordinated volunteer effort in the organization's history, which now engages thousands of volunteers worldwide. Betsy also serves as co-director of the Initiative for Strategic Volunteer Engagement and as a facilitator for the National Alliance for Volunteer Engagement.

Bex Takacs-Britz (they/them) holds a degree in public and nonprofit administration from Grand Valley State University. Professionally, Bex has worked in development for nonprofits spanning the entire US, from small shop to internationally-scaled organizations. They earned their CNP in 2021, their CFRE in 2022, and their ACNP in 2023. Outside of their day work, Bex is the President & founder of Welcome Home Neighbors, a community re-entry support program. Bex has a focused interest in creating inclusive and accessible workplaces and volunteer spaces.

Bri Johnson (she/her) works as a Volunteer Engagement Specialist at Second Harvest Heartland. Her primary responsibilities include recruitment of new ongoing program support volunteers and providing training and support to volunteer supervisors across the organization. Bri is passionate about deepening volunteers' engagement and understanding of the state of Hunger in Minnesota with the hopes of many becoming life-long hunger advocates.

Donte Curtis (he/him) is the Owner/Leader of Catch Your Dream Consulting where he keynotes,consults with, and trains teams and organizations, nationwide, on leadership development,racial equity, Inclusion, and supports them to create practical change. Donte currently is the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at Social Enterprise Alliance Twin Cities and is a member of the program investment committee at Youthprise. Donte brings his 15 years of facilitation and speaking experience with an expectation of getting you energized, you taking practical action and finding hope for a better tomorrow. Probably one of the most energetic people you will ever meet, Donte lives a life that is dedicated to leadership, social justice and liberation and resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his Wife, Rachel and two dogs, King and Moose.

Faiza Venzant (she/her) CVA is the Executive Director of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. With over 20 years of leadership experience in volunteer engagement, she continues this work with a goal of centering community amongst the profession, improving equity and access to volunteerism and increasing diversity amongst professional leaders of volunteers.  In 2018, Faiza published her first children’s book entitled, My Mamma Wants to Eat Me Up!  As a mother of two young boys, she has not actually eaten any of her children.

Femina Ajayi - Hackworth (she/her) is a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Consultant. She is an experienced leader who uses evidence-based practices to strategically integrate the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility into presentations. For almost 20 years, Femina has excelled in creating and presenting educational DEI Training in an engaging and informative manner. Femina uses best practices and maintains extensive knowledge of current events, equity, recruitment, community outreach, and retention issues which she incorporates into her work. Femina has a Masters in African American and African Diaspora Studies, and a Masters in Public Affairs. She was certified as a Certified Affirmative Action Professional, CAAP level in 2012.

Gwendolen Nystrom, (she/her) CVA, President of the Pavek Museum in St. Louis Park, MN, is a nonprofit executive who understands the value and mission impact of volunteers. With 15 years’ experience managing museum, archaeology, and heritage tourism volunteers, Gwendolen created and developed the Pavek’s new volunteer program and renowned docent training and volunteer programs at Indiana Landmarks, the United States’ largest statewide historic preservation nonprofit. Gwendolen holds a Master’s in Museum Studies from IUPUI in Indianapolis.

Heather Stein (she/her) is a dynamic and resilient business leader with over 12 years of progressive experience in human resources, workforce diversity & inclusion, equal opportunity, and adult education. She specializes in leading organizational change that carefully nurtures employee engagement, increases retention of talent, and optimizes culturally responsive service delivery. Heather enjoys building coalitions and thrives when serving as systems change agent. She has worked in public service for the State of Minnesota for nearly 10 years. In her current role, Heather oversees federal and state Equal Opportunity and ADA compliance, harassment and discrimination policy adherence, Affirmative Action, and DEIA programming and training. Heather lives in Minneapolis, MN with her partner and two daughters. She enjoys spending time in nature, visiting local restaurants and businesses, and giving back to her community.

James Goalder (he/him) With almost 20 years of experience working in nonprofit technology and sales and relationship management, James brings the perfect blend of experience for his role as Partnerships Manager at Bloomerang. In addition to his work experience, James volunteers with Project Grows, a community farm in Virginia, serving on the Board and on Volunteer Nights with the organization. 

Jeanne Rasmussen (she/heris the Volunteer Resources Coordinator at the State of Minnesota’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety. Jeanne focuses on assisting local jurisdictions prepare for disaster related volunteer and donation management. She serves as a liaison with MNVOAD (Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) groups and others. In addition, she provides guidance to Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Programs. Jeanne has extensive background as a volunteer manager, instructor and served as a disaster volunteer for many years.

Jennifer Bennett (she/her) joined VolunteerMatch to formalize and manage the organization's volunteer engagement program. With her breadth of experience she is well qualified to help VolunteerMatch's community of nonprofits better recruit and engage volunteers. She shares her knowledge with volunteer managers through the webinars found on the Learning Center, in newsletters and blog entries, and at conferences around the country. She also so-hosts the Time+Talent Podcast with Tobi Johnson from VolunteerPro, which finished its fourth season in December 2022. She currently serves as the Director of Knowledge on the Board of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. She is the current co-editor and a contributing author for the 4th Edition of Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice, published by LexisNexis Canada in January 2021. And, she contributed The New Volunteer Manager's Toolkit chapter to the guide Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights that are Changing the World published by VolunteerMatch in 2015.
Joanne Telser-Frere (she/her) born in Chicago, Joanne has always been an adventurer. She has lived and worked in France, Pakistan, Egypt, and Qatar. Joanne is fluent in French and can get by in Arabic. She has worked in many fields, including ESL education, radio, tv, and even brain training. Today she continues her adventures into the world of literacy. She is passionate about her work as Director of Program Development at Literacy Chicago, where she can pull together all the skills she has learned over the years to innovate and create exciting programs for students. Joanne has managed the Volunteer Tutor program (with more than 150 enthusiastic volunteers) at Literacy Chicago for six years. This includes training 60 to 70 volunteers each year and providing additional training for existing volunteers.

Karen Caldwell, (she/her) is an arts-based creative wellness coach with a Master of Science degree in Sociology from University College London. Her unique art-centered approach to wellness coaching empowers corporations, non-profit organizations, and individuals globally to facilitate self-expression, self- discovery, healing, and personal growth. With her sociological expertise, Karen has developed an innovative employee engagement program that utilizes the power of art-making to improve workplace well-being, boost productivity, encourage team-building, and improve overall employee engagement. Karen works collaboratively with her clients to create customized plans that address their specific needs and goals. She is passionate about helping individuals and teams achieve greater levels of success and fulfillment in both their personal and professional lives by using creativity and self-expression as essential tools for achieving mental, emotional, and physical wellness

Karen Fredrickson (she/her) has been volunteering at Literacy Chicago as a tutor, teacher, and tutor trainer for eight years. In addition to tutoring and taching, she has enjoyed participating in other projects such as publishing yearly books of student essays and helping to develop a phonics course for adults learning to read. Volunteering in the cause of literacy had long been a planned retirement avocation. Prior to retirement, Ms. Fredrickson was a project manager for large construction and renovation projects. A lifelong learning enthusiast, she enjoys sharing her love of learning with her students.

Karen Naus (she/her) has been a Hospice volunteer Coordinator for over 15 years supporting for what is now Hope Hospice in RI and currently as the Lead of Volunteer Services for Allina Health Hospice.

Kasandra James (she/her) is Volunteer Toronto's Director of Programs. Kasandra provides strategic leadership of the organization's programs, services and events that connect Toronto's diverse volunteer-seekers with community organizations and volunteer programs that need them. Since joining Volunteer Toronto in 2015, Kasandra has used her experience and expertise in non-profit and volunteer management, community development and program design to support capacity building efforts in hundreds of organizations across Ontario.

Kayla Paulson (she/her) fights for more strategic and impactful volunteer engagement. She has led a Volunteer Center, RSVP, and Service Enterprise in addition to volunteering with Volunteer Iowa, Points of Light, AL!VE, and United Way Worldwide to help improve volunteer engagement practices at local and national levels. Now she is helping nonprofits build capacity and better meet community needs as AL!VE’s National Service Enterprise Administrator and a Supportive Environments for Effectiveness Administrator for reDirect Foundation.

Kelly Mortvedt 
(she/her) fell into the volunteer engagement field at age 21 when someone said “here’s a week of training, 3 staff to manage, and 500 youth volunteers. Go make summer service-learning events happen.” There’s no learning quite like trial by fire education! Today, Kelly is the Volunteer Resource Manager at Second Harvest Heartland, partnering with pro bono volunteers on short-term projects utilizing professional expertise and working with Bri to foster life-long hunger advocates.

Mackenzie Albrecht (she/her) is MAVA's Greater Minnesota Program Manager. She's responsible for outreach, relationship-building, and supporting volunteer engagement organizations and networks across Greater Minnesota. As a resident of Central Minnesota, she has first-hand experience engaging volunteers in small town and rural areas. Mackenzie has been involved with nonprofits as a volunteer, board member, and staff member since 2014, primarily with animal and youth related organizations. Before joining the MAVA staff, Mackenzie worked as the Volunteer Manager at Ruff Start Rescue, one of Minnesota's largest foster-based animal rescues. 

Marcia Hale (she/her) CVA leads volunteer engagement strategy for the public libraries of Hillsboro, OR. A volunteer administrator for over 20 years in museums, nonprofits, and leading a volunteer center, she was a frequent workshop presenter for the Association of Volunteer Administrators, Association of Science and Technology Centers, and the University of Oregon among others. After burning out herself in the 90's, she began presenting workshops on the subject using the techniques that helped her rise from the ashes.

Matt Porth (he/him) has been a volunteer manager at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry for 18 years. In that time, he has successfully managed volunteers through organizational restructuring, rebranding, and reopening from a worldwide pandemic. Matt has developed and implemented volunteer opportunities with multiple collaborators, included United Airlines, Bank of America, the University of Illinois, and the U.S. Navy, Matt’s keys to a successful volunteer team include providing high energy trainings, building strong connections to the Museum’s vision, and total transparency.

Morgan Green-Griffin (she/her)MLS, CVA works at Volunteers in Plano, a centralized municipal office of volunteerism that supports over 7,500 volunteers annually. Green-Griffin is a former teen services librarian, who believes teen engagement is the key factor in adulthood volunteerism for or donation to cities and nonprofits. In 2021, Green-Griffin was named an Emerging Leader in volunteer engagement from AL!VE. In 2022, she received an award from the Texas Library Association for a teen reading and civic engagement program.

Nina Larson (she/her) is the Education Manager of the Pavek Museum in St. Louis Park, MN, and strives to create a rewarding experience for volunteers. Nina previously spent 5 years leading historic and cultural travel tours, and has years of experience managing volunteers as a volunteer with organizations such as the University of South Dakota’s Dakotathon, the largest student-run philanthropy in South Dakota. Nina holds a Master’s in Public History from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

Sammy Feilchenfeld, (he/him) CVA, is Volunteer Toronto’s Manager, Learning, designing and overseeing Volunteer Toronto’s learning programs for leaders of volunteers, board members, non-profit professionals and volunteer seekers. With a focus on addressing the changing needs of volunteerism, Sammy draws on more than 15 years in volunteer management and adult education. Sammy also serves as Director of Partnerships on the board of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA).

Sue Carter Kahl (she/her) has dedicated her professional life to working and volunteering within the nonprofit sector. Sue demystifies and translates research–making it accessible and even exciting. She helps organizations collect and make meaning from their data to enhance organizational decisions. A nationally-recognized expert on volunteer engagement, Sue has presented or facilitated sessions at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the White House Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the National Park Service, Points of Light, the California League of Cities, the University of San Diego Governance Institute, and more.  She teaches a graduate course on Strategic Volunteer Engagement at the University of San Diego. Sue has a PhD in Leadership from the University of San Diego. Her dissertation, Making the Invisible Visible: Capturing the Multidimensional Value of Volunteerism to Nonprofit Organizations, articulated the diverse contributions that volunteers make to nonprofits. She has a Master’s in Social Work Administration and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management. 

Terri Allred 
(she/her) is the Director of Operations and Development for Pamoja Women, a Rochester based nonprofit serving East African women and girls. She has served as the ED of 6 nonprofits in 3 states having the privilege of working with hundreds of volunteers. She specializes in creating a trauma-informed workplace and curiosity based communication in conflict.

Todun Afolabi (she/her) joined World Relief in 2018 and currently serves as the US Volunteer Engagement Manager. With a background in law, she is passionate about humanitarian efforts and engaging communities in their stories of change. In her current role, she supports volunteer engagement efforts across all field offices in the US.

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