our leadership

Board Chair

Laura Daugherty 



Laura Daugherty is the Marketing Manager for content initiatives at Minnesota Public Radio. Laura has an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, a Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Wisconsin - Superior, and a BBA majoring in Marketing with a minor in Studio Art from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. In her spare time Laura enjoys re-watching Harry Potter movies, reading the creepiest Stephen King novels, and is a tried and true supporter of the oxford comma.


Vice Chair

Biftu Takele


Biftu works in Philanthropic Services at the Minneapolis Foundation. Previously, she served as the Executive Assistant for Healthy Building Network and as the Nonprofit Services Assistant for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. She graduated from Macalester College in 2016 with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. She also served on the board of Friends of Africa Education, a Minnesota-based nonprofit providing HIV/AIDS orphans and at-risk children in east Africa with primary, secondary, and vocational education. With her college experience in campus engagement and programming, development, and student government, she wants to bring her passion for serving nonprofits to the YNPN-TC decision making table and strive towards the goal of helping other young nonprofit professionals develop and maximize their skills to serve their communities.  



Jillian Theuer


Jillian is the Development and Executive Associate at Fresh Energy, an organization that shapes and drives clean energy policies that benefit all. Prior to working at Fresh Energy, Jillian interned at the Saint Paul Neighborhood Network. She graduated with a B.A in general business management and a minor in Spanish from the University of St. Thomas. When not at work, Jillian can be found biking around the twin cities, hanging out with her cat or learning a new song the saxophone or guitar.



Ruth Hamberg



Ruth leads Squaretree, a consulting firm providing communications, event and collaboration support for changemakers. Squaretree supports nonprofits, small business and artists to build organic connections and drive toward strategic impact.

Ruth's work ranges from designing digital dashboards, creating content, writing research reports on collaboration and delivering workshops on asset-based frameworks. She also loves to talk about the business ownership and consulting journey, so don't hesitate to get in touch! Along with YNPN-TC, Ruth is a leader in the Minnesota Rising network.

Prior to creating Squaretree Ruth spent five years with Minnesota Compass, an indicators project based in Saint Paul at Wilder Research. Ruth also worked in media and community relations for Greater Twin Cities United Way. Ruth received her bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Minnesota, Morris, where she studied Spanish, Biology and Management, including research through the Minnesota Studies in International Development program and a tour with Students Today Leaders Forever. Her top travel memories are crossing India on a train, Ecuador in a bus, the Ecuador-Colombia border on foot and the trails of central Minnesota on horseback. Find her salsa dancing, taking photos or exploring the joy of hygge.


Volunteer Manager

Kevin Bruins



Kevin Bruins is an IT Administrator at Bush Foundation, a foundation investing in our communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. Kevin graduated from the Hamline University in 2009 with a B.A. in Sociology. In his free time Kevin enjoys biking around the Twin Cities, painting and playing miniature war games, gardening, and being a general nerd.


National Liaison

Dan Frankenfeld


Dan Frankenfeld is a Board Recruiter & Loan Fund Associate with Propel Nonprofits. He graduated from St. Olaf College and served as a New Sector Alliance RISE Fellow placed at Rebuilding Together Twin Cities.


Development Manager

Kristin Skaar



Kristin Skaar is the Development and Communications Director at Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, an organization whose mission is to build capacity at the 30 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across Minnesota. She also served as YNPN-TC's Membership/Communications Chair in 2017, and Programming Chair in 2018.

Kristin moved to the Twin Cities in 2009 to serve for two years with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and has been active in the Twin Cities nonprofit community since that time. Kristin holds a B.A. in business management and Spanish from Luther College, where her passion for affordable housing was initially ignited. In both her personal and professional lives, Kristin enjoys finding ways to forge connections between people and loves any excuse to host gatherings, from fundraising events to dinner parties.


Development Manager

Alishia Wright


Alishia Wright currently serves as the Donor Relations Coordinator for Ascension Catholic Academy, a consortium of urban Catholic schools working to bring rigorous, intentional and individualized learning to scholars of color in Minneapolis and St. Paul through their three schools: Ascension Catholic School, St. John Paul II Catholic School, and St. Peter Claver Catholic School. Prior to her two-and-a-half years in development, Alishia worked for over eight years in direct service with various vulnerable populations such as foster care, those experiencing homelessness, and those struggling with drug addiction. Alishia holds a BA in Human Services from University of Phoenix. In her free time, Alishia enjoys cross-stitching, curling, board games, and making pancakes.


Communications Co-Chair 

Emily Pyle


Emily Pyle is the Donor Relations Manager for The Arc Minnesota. Previously, she worked for The Saint Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project and Tubman. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies and Communications. In college, she was a Certified Sexual Assault Crisis Counselor and volunteered with The Aurora Center. In her free time, you can find Emily playing with her cat, Billie, binge watching episodes of 30 Rock, and acting as an avid karaoke supporter (she doesn't sing, but will support anyone who does).


Communications Co-Chair 

Arwen Tag


Arwen is a Senior Associate Producer for Twin Cities PBS, working in the National Productions department and with the SciGirls STEM team. Her passion lies in continually learning, strategic thinking, and the creative process of filmmaking, especially project ideation, development and on-set production. As a newer nonprofit employee, she has found the opportunity to engage with peers through YNPN-TC helpful for understanding nonprofits, career paths in public media, and ally-ship across the sector. Before joining TPT in 2018, Arwen worked for 6+ years in cable and commercial film and television production. Work accomplishments included directing digital web series, and producing broadcast television series for Travel Channel, Food Network, and HGTV. Between projects she has delighted in working on side video projects with friends, in particular comedy shorts. The short comedy film she produced in 2018, Networking Lunch will premiere at multiple comedy film festivals in 2020. 

Arwen lives in Minneapolis and enjoys attending concerts, live theater, and whenever possible, traveling to see family and friends around the US. You can find her working and attending events at The Coven - St Paul or trying to start a rousing game of Would You Rather? with friends or colleagues. 


Governance Co-Chair

Kelsey Parsons


Kelsey Parsons is a Senior High School Program Coordinator with College Possible. Previously, she was Curriculum & Instruction Director at LearningWorks at Blake: A Breakthrough Program. She got her B.A. in History from Carleton College in 2013. Outside of work, Kelsey loves to camp, bike, and run (her goal is to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon!). You can count on her to cheer for the Vikings and hate on the Packers.


Governance Co-Chair

Paul Johnson


Paul is the founder of Workflow, a coaching and consulting business that helps individuals and organizations be at their best every day by being strengths-based. With over 10 years of experience in the non-profit sector under his belt, he is now turning his attention to helping organizations develop talent, reduce burnout, maximize performance and overall become great places to work. He loves YNPN because it provides a space for future leaders to learn, grow and connect. When he isn't trying to fix the workplace, he loves spending time with his partner, Bailey, and their dog (Curry) and cat (Pita). Basketball, biking, puzzles, cooking and video games are his favorite pastimes.


Programming Co-Chair 

Tess Montgomery


Tess Montgomery is a young communicator and visionary living in Minneapolis. She is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Twin Cities PBS - TPT and Marketing Coordinator for More Than a Single Story. She is a 2018 Fellow with the Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy, a 2017 Fellow with New Sector Academy and a past Digital Production intern with On Being. Tess is passionate about the power of grassroots, community-led organizing.

Tess believes in the principles of Ubuntu (I am because you are) and Ujima (collective work and responsibility) to build and maintain a community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems to solve together. She holds a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from Drake University.


Membership Co-Chair

Molly Budke


Membership Co-Chair

Nora Henle


Nora is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Spina Bifida Association, an organization that works nationally to create a better and brighter future for all those impacted by Spina Bifida. After graduating from St. Olaf, Nora found her calling in the nonprofit sector and has been passionate about rallying support for nonprofits through storytelling. In her free time, you can likely find Nora somewhere outside with her husband and two dogs.

Programming Co-Chair 

Cate McKay


Cate McKay is a Lead Agency Review Evaluator at the Minnesota Department of Human Services where she evaluates the implementation of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers in Minnesota counties and tribes. She specializes in research and evaluation of social safety-net policy, practice, and systems, and is passionate about service integration and community development. A born and bred Midwesterner, Cate grew up in the Twin Cities and took a decade long sabbatical from the northern winters before returning to her homeland.

Cate earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Arizona State University. She received her BA from University of Colorado – Boulder in psychology and integrative physiology. Cate lives in Saint Paul and enjoys travel, food, and nature. She when she is not traveling for work, she can often be found with her husband, Cole, and her geriatric Corgi, Dr. Finndiana Bones (AKA Finn) hiking at one of the lovely Minnesota State Parks or enjoying appetizers on a patio.


Leadership Institute Liaison

Rachel Garaghty


At-Large Members

Xavier Vazquez


Xavier Vazquez has a bachelor’s degree in biology with a focus on pre-medicine. He studied mechanical engineering for 4 years at the University of Puerto Rico, but decided to pursue another career and moved to Minnesota in June 17 of 2017 after he obtained his biology degree at the Universidad del Turabo of Puerto Rico. He is always willing to try new things and definitely up for adventures and new challenges. He enjoys playing baseball/softball, running, biking, camping, fishing, drawing, spending time with his furry “daughter” (Cuba) and everything else that piques his adventurous spirit. As the Director of Program Management he motivates pairs to graduate their 1-year long 1:1 program and to stay engaged with Bolder Options and goes the extra mile to ensure that the current and alumni pairs get exposed to the most fun and adventurous activities his creative mind can dream up!

Audra Weigand


Audra Weigand holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she double majored in sociology and political science and minored in Spanish studies and management. She is also an alumna of the Community Engagement Scholars Program, an honors program that emphasizes community engagement within the Twin-Cities. As an undergraduate, Audra was the General Manager for a small brand communications agency in Minneapolis where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the organization, including leading recruitment efforts and acquiring additional clientele.

More recently, Audra interned at TakeAction Minnesota and was a part of the healthcare organizing team, where she worked on building power to pass progressive initiatives during the state legislative session. Audra has a love for non-profit organizations and has interned and volunteered with several organizations including The Arc Minnesota, MPIRG, and Alexandra House to name a few. She now works at HECUA, a non-profit organization that sends college students on off-campus study programs that are rooted in social justice and experiential learning pedagogy. Audra is passionate about community engagement, communications, social justice, equity, and organizational development. When she has free time, you likely can find Audra hiking a new trail, tending to her plant babies, flowing through vinyasa, or watching whatever new Netflix series has caught her attention.

Alyssa Whalon


Alyssa Whalon is an Event Manager at YWCA Minneapolis. In this role she helps plan YWCA's signature events and leads the planning for the annual fundraising event. Previously, she worked as Development Service Manager at Scholarship America. Originally from Kansas City, MO, Alyssa graduated with a B.S. in Anthropology and a minor in History from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. In her free time Alyssa enjoys going to the movies, DIY projects, listening to music and taking walks.

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Our mission, vision and values guide all that we do at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC).

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