The Minnesota Rising 2012 Un/Conference: Leveraging Expansive Leadership for Our Minnesota 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 leaders, reach out to old and new allies as part of our intentional network-building work across Minnesota, and support the Cascading Conversations Tour to surface the makings of a generational agenda or operating principles. Cheers to these extraordinary leaders, who are generous with their time, talent, and spirits!


Jenny Johnson
Jenny Johnson is the Fund Development Manager of Aeon, an affordable housing developer in the Twin Cities, and is a self-proclaimed lover of Minnesota. Jenny manages Aeon Connect, hosts regular conversations about young professional group best practices for nonprofit organizations, and is the Logistics Queen for the Minnesota Rising 2012 Un/Conference! In her spare time, Jenny loves to eat, work out at her local fitness club, and spend time wandering around her local Target.

Justin Sundberg
Justin Sundberg is the Head Certified Public Accountant at Sundberg Tax & Consulting, a small business tax and consulting firm.  Aside from working on the Un/Conference Logistics team, he is also the Treasurer and a Director of Twin Cities Rotaract, a St. Paul Rotary Club for young professionals.  When he has free time, Justin can typically be found in the ballroom practicing or attending classes.

Diane Tran
Diane Tran is a Project Manager at Grassroots Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in grassroots strategy, evaluation, training, and organizing. She blogs regularly for Minnesota Rising and helps liaise between the various committees working to pull off the third annual Un/Conference! A little-known fact about Diane is that she bungee-jumped off the bridge that separates Zambia and Zimbabwe over Victoria Falls on its one-hundredth year anniversary.


Spectra Myers
Spectra Myers is a manager with Ashoka based in the Twin Cities. She joined Ashoka’s Youth Venture in 2007 to develop curriculum for a workshop series to help young people launch social ventures.  She also coordinated Youth Venture’s first two national impact evaluations and managed a partnership with the Best Buy Children’s Foundation for three years.  Spectra now splits her time with Ashoka’s US team engaging social entrepreneurs, youth, companies, CSOs, colleges and universities, and the media to foster changemking in the Twin Cities.  She received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Macalester College and previously worked in advertising as a brand planner.

Sam Schultz
Sam Schultz works as the marketing associate at the National Youth Leadership Council, where he works to write about and promote the work that young people and educators do in communities across the U.S. Sam is a member of YNPN (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network) and became involved with Minnesota Rising after attending the 2011 Un/Conference. He has since been a part of the fruitful brainstorming meetings as a volunteer curator for the content committee.

Heidi Smith
Heidi serves as office manager at Grassroots Solutions, with daily tasks that are varied and certainly not limited, and that often fall under the “whatever it takes” category. Heidi is originally from Florida and is a relatively new transplant to Minnesota. She likes to say that she gave up humidity for snow, running for yoga and grouper for walleye. Heidi likes to spend her time wandering around any one of the many lakes Minnesota has to offer, and can frequently be found strolling along the Minnehaha Parkway in south Minneapolis.


Andrea Mac Arthur
Andrea Mac Arthur is the Senior Manager of Corporate Relations at Community Health Charities Minnesota, which unites caring donors in the workplace with our nation’s most trusted health charities.Andrea serves on the steering committee of propel, the young professionals group of Jeremiah Program. Andrea’s love of connecting people to one another and the issues they’re passionate about naturally led her to the outreach committee. Andrea’s claim to fame – she’s a certified keelboat captain.

Tanya Schmitt
Tanya works for Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF), a youth serving nonprofit based in MInneapolis with a mission of revealing leadership through service, relationships, and action. As Program Core at STLF, she helps to organize Pay It Forward Tours and facilitates leadership training for students across the country. In addition to her work at STLF, Tanya loves coffee, traveling, board games, youth serving organizations, leadership models/theories, happiness, and everything Minneapolis.

Katie Tharp
Katie Tharp is a project manager with Greater Twin Cities United Way’s development team, managing fundraising initiatives and writing grants. Katie studied Art History and Spanish at the University of Minnesota and uses her Espanol in her volunteer role at Casa de Esperanza. Que fabuloso! Ever the world traveler, she recently took a three-week trip to Greece in late summer 2012.


Brandon Boat
Brandon Boat is the co-founder of The Theater of Public Policy which presents Big Ideas through improv comedy and is currently an Artist in Residence at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In the past he’s served as an advocate for youth in low-income housing and taught English in South Korea. He’s also the author of a book that hasn’t been written yet and likes to brew is own beer using unique recipes and ingredients. After he broke both of his arms at his first middle school dance, he’s ready for anything.

Jenny Hegland
Jenny Hegland is Capstone Coordinator at the University of Minnesota – Rochester’s Center for Learning Innovation. She was a member of the 2008 cohort of the Collaborative Leadership Fellows (CLF) Program, is an active member of the Citizens League, and has been trained as an Art of Hosting Facilitator for the Bush Foundation’s InCommons initiative.

Katie Hunt
Katie Hunt is just beginning a role as an Account Executive with IntrinXec Management, Inc. where she’ll work to support and guide multiple non-profit associations supporting a variety of professions and trades.  She was most recently the Executive Director with the Minnesota Jaycees, which was prefaced by over seven years of non-profit work in leadership development and community engagement.  Outside of work she does a little bit of a lot of things – backpacking, hiking, ‘happy houring’, CrossFit, Twins games, biking, laughing, and concert-going (just to name a few).

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