The Minnesota Rising 2014 Un/Conference: The Future Is How is a volunteer-led effort run by an amazing cast of emerging leaders! They’ve long been in planning mode to craft content for an incredible day of innovative learning by and for emerging leader and reach out to old and new allies as part of our intentional network-building work across Minnesota. Cheers to these extraordinary leaders, who are generous with their time, talent, and spirits!


Chet Bodin
Chet Bodin
Chet is a Regional Labor Market Analyst for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and currently lives in Nisswa, Minnesota. In this role, Chet supports local workforce and economic development councils as the state’s primary regional resource for labor market information; including demographic, employment and industry analysis for program planning and implementation. Outside of DEED, Chet serves his community as a Civil Affairs NCO in the Minnesota National Guard. He completed a Master of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in May 2013, with a focus on public leadership and non-profit management. Connect with him on LinkedIn or by email at chetbodin[at]

Ben Marcy
Ben is an instructor in the Leadership Minor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. He currently teaches Personal Leadership in the University in which undergraduates develop leadership skills through strengths based focus and case in point teaching. He is also an adjunct professor at the St. Catherine University teaching in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Department on the Minneapolis Campus. Ben is a graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. His Master’s Degree in Public Policy is focused on Community Development through Civic Engagement: how citizens to participate in forming policy and creating community change. While Ben’s passion is in collaborative arts, he enjoys bringing diverse communities (cultural and professional) together to find common ground and direction.

Diane Tran
Diane Tran is a Senior Project Manager at Grassroots Solutions, a national consulting firm specializing in grassroots strategy, organizing, training, and evaluation. She recently joined the board of the Minnesota Humanities Center and is currently chair of the board of directors for the Citizens League. She was selected as a 2013 German Marshall Memorial Fellow, named one of Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans in 2008 by the Minnesota Junior Chamber, and served as a 2006-2007 Humphrey School Policy Fellow. Diane earned a self-designed bachelor’s degree in International Social Policy with a double major in Humanities at The College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, MN. She blogs about active citizenship, emerging leadership, and the Millennial generation at


Ruth Hamberg
Ruth Hamberg works for the Minnesota Compass project to provide community data that inspire people to take action to improve our quality of life. A passionate fan of all things informative, Ruth answered the interview question, “Which Compass topic area do you think is most important?” with “All of them!” and she can’t imagine a more fascinating place from which to learn about Minnesota and contribute to our strong future. Ruth manages development, events, social media and stakeholder engagement for Compass, as well as contributing data processing and visualization. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota – Morris, where she studied Spanish, biology, and management. Her experience includes research in Ecuador and India; her passions include collaboration and sunshine.


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Sara Nobbs
Sara Nobbs is the Assistant Program Manager for the Center for Integrative Leadership at the University of Minnesota. The Center studies and convenes boundary-crossing leaders to solve the really big, societal challenges. Sara loves stories, story-telling,  and connecting with people. She also enjoys running, hiking, camping and picnics.

Alexis Walstad

Alexis Walstad is really Minnesotan. So Minnesotan that she once won a blue ribbon in butter sculpting at the State Fair. (It’s not as hard as it sounds.) Her excessive state pride led her to join Minnesota Rising, where she is thrilled to interact with other people who have big dreams for the future of the state. Alexis was first introduced to Minnesota Rising in 2012 and dove in deeper this year with leadership roles in the Cascading Conversations Tour and now the Un/Conference. Alexis is employed as the Development Director at the Karen Organization of Minnesota. She is passionate about welcoming immigrants and refugees to Minnesota and creating an environment that supports all people to connect, have fun, and reach their goals. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter…or at the Un/Conference!

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Aeriel Ashlee
Aeriel is co-founder of Ashlee Consulting, a social justice education firm dedicated to fostering brave spaces for bold conversations. As a transracial adoptee raised in Minnesota by a strong single-mother, Aeriel developed a unique lens through which to see the world at an early age. Her personal initiative and drive helped her to excel as a first-generation college student and informs the strengths-based approach to working with others that she holds today. Drawing from her own experiences and research interests, Aeriel specializes in racial identity development, women’s leadership and empowerment, and transracial adoption issues. Additionally, her work creating and directing award-winning intergroup dialogue programs across the country has received international acclaim. Aeriel’s positivity coupled with her story-centered facilitation style makes her a highly dynamic educator, consultant, and social justice advocate.

Jackie Moore
Jackie Moore is a recent transplant to Minnesota, having moved in early 2013 to Minneapolis.  She loves to spend her time raising awareness about mental illness and gender equality, playing with her roommate’s cats, and hula hooping.  She also likes baking, though most attempts have been hilarious disasters.  Once the cookies actually melted!

Becky Nahvi
Becky Nahvi is a recent transplant to Minneapolis.  She grew up in Toronto but has lived in the U.S. for 12 years; starting out in Lafayette, IN, then moving north to Bemidji and most recently residing in Rochester, MN. Her background is in nonprofit human services and has held positions including volunteer coordinator, community impact specialist, and executive director. She currently serves on the Doing Good Together development committee and volunteers weekly at CEAP. Becky is an avid traveler with her husband and enjoys curling, downhill skiing, hiking, good food and good conversations.

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