• 2015 WIPS Speakers

    Keynote Speaker

    Lori Sturdevant

    Star Tribune

    WIPS SturdevantLori Sturdevant joined the Minneapolis Tribune in 1975, and was lead Capitol reporter and a newsroom assignment editor before joining the editorial staff in 1992, where she writes about state and government politics. A native of South Dakota, Lori is a graduate of Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a member of that institution’s Board of Trustees. She has been the editor or co-author of nine books, including “A Man’s Reach: The Autobiography of Elmer L. Andersen,” “Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement,” and “The Pillsburys of Minnesota.” Her latest book is “Citizen Swain: Tales of a Minnesota Life,” by Tom H. Swain, to be released in April 2015 by University of Minnesota Press.

    Luncheon Speakers

    Toni carter

    Toni Carter has been a Ramsey County Commissioner in District 4 since 2005, whose priorities have been to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of county services, eliminate disparities in outcomes for diverse populations, and raise grassroots awareness of county decision-making processes and systems. Commissioner Carter is the first African American ever elected to a County Board in the state of Minnesota, and in 2014, served as the president of the Association of Minnesota Counties, and now serves on the board and executive committee. She is the co-chair of both the MN Human Services Performance Council and the Governor's Task Force on the Protection of Children, as well as chair of the National Association of Counties Human Services and Education Committee. She also co-chairs Ramsey County's Juvenile Detention Alternatives Stakeholders' Committee, and serves on the leadership teams of the Ramsey County Workforce Investment Board, the Saint Paul Children’s Collaborative, and the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood. 

    Amy Klobuchar

    Amy Klobuchar is the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate. Amy has built a reputation of putting partisanship aside to help strengthen the economy and support families, workers and businesses. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Amy was part of the important Farm Bill conference committee that reached an agreement between the Senate and the House on a long-term Farm Bill in 2014. In 2015, she was appointed Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, where she brings together senators, businesses, community leaders, policy experts and intergovernmental organizations to help develop policies to strengthen the economy and move the country forward. She received an award from the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) for her work to fight sexual assault in the military, and the Disabled American Veterans honored her work to improve the lives of America’s veterans. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. Her senior essay in college, published as the book "Uncovering the Dome," chronicles the 10-year-history behind the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and is still used at colleges and universities across the country.  

    Sharon J. Lubinski

    Sharon J. Lubinski is in her 38th year of law enforcement experience, in both local and Federal agencies. She served as Dane County Sheriff’s Department in Madison, WI, for more than eight years as a patrol deputy and a criminal investigator. From 1987 to 2010, she worked for the Minneapolis Police Department, working in each of the five Minneapolis Police Precincts, and rising through the ranks to Assistant Chief of Police. In 2001, Sharon received the Police Executive Research Forum’s Gary Hayes Award for Initiative in Policing for the Minnesota HEALS Homicide Reduction in Minneapolis. In 2014, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award from Hamline School of Business. Sharon has a Bachelor’s Degree from UW Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Public Administration from Hamline University, serving as adjunct faculty for criminal justice programs at Hamline University and Metropolitan State University. In 2009 Sharon was named by Sen. Amy Klobuchar as her candidate for United States Marshal for the District of Minnesota, nominated by President Obama in October, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December of 2009. Since January of 2010, she has been the United States Marshal for the District of Minnesota.  

    Sandra Vargas

    A champion of bringing people, resources and ideas together to spark positive change, Sandra Vargas has served as President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation since 2007. As leader of one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the country, Vargas oversees $650 million in assets; the administration of more than 1,200 charitable funds; and the distribution of more than $35 million in grants annually. Through its community grantmaking, leadership work, and collaborations, the Foundation addresses critical issues to create a more vibrant and equitable community. Previously, Vargas served as Hennepin County administrator, managing a $2 billion dollar budget and 12,000 employees. A Bush Fellow, Vargas has received the “Outstanding Citizen” award from the Caux Round Table, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “Women in Business Award”, and Women Venture’s Pioneer Award. A graduate of the University of St. Catherine, Vargas also holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and is active on the boards of St. Catherine University and the Downtown Council. She is also on the national boards of Independent Sector, 50CAN, and Hispanics in Philanthropy.

    Other Speakers

    Melissa Adams

    WIPS AdamsMelissa Adams currently serves as COO for Stanton Adams Learning Institute.  She brings over 15 years of experience in business management, sales, and marketing. She has successfully planned and directed the business operations of public and private organizations.  Ms. Adams offers consulting services in the areas of Multicultural Marketing, Organization Development and Product Development.

    Jeffrey Allen

    WIPS AllenJeffrey Allen is the owner of Allen and Associates Consulting LLC.  As an Executive Consultant with Right Management, he works exclusively with senior level leadership in Career Management and Executive Coaching. He is also a contributor at the firm Non Profit-360.  His current non-profit Board experience includes Board member at Eureka recycling, Board of Trustee at Vesper Atelier (an Eco Art Center), and Board of Trustee member at 2Build 4Ward International Organization. Jeffrey has a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota, a Certificate in Fundraising from Saint Thomas University, a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from State University of New York at Binghamton. He is a Licensed Teacher and Independent Social Worker in the State of Minnesota.

    Lisa Baumgartner Bonds

    WIPS BondsLisa Baumgartner Bonds joined Animal Humane Society as Chief Advancement Officer in 2015. Bonds brings over 20 years in nonprofit and for profit leadership positions to AHS where she leads all fundraising and communication work. Prior to returning to Minnesota, Bonds served as External Relations VP at Lutheran World Relief. Other gigs included starting and running her own PR firm; serving as a professor at American University and St. Olaf College and as press secretary & aide for women’s issues for Congresswoman Maloney (D-NY). She completed her B.A. at Gustavus Adolphus College and her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

    Aimee Gourlay

    WIPS GourlayAimee Gourlay, Director of Mediation Center affiliated with Hamline Law School Dispute Resolution Institute, has been with the Center since 1993. She is a Senior Fellow at DRI, teaching Externship, Negotiation and Mediation courses, and is adjunct faculty with the Hamline MBA Program, teaching Organizational Conflict Management Systems.  Aimee’s consulting work includes design and facilitation of public engagement processes, conflict assessment, mediation, and conflict responses for organizations. She is well known for her work facilitating processes with large groups of people that include multiple stakeholders.  Aimee also serves on the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals.

    Natalie johnson lee

    WIPS Johnson LeeNatalie Johnson Lee is the Director of Girls In Action, Principal Consultant/Certified Coach for the Power of People Leadership Institute.  She is a fierce community advocate with a keen understanding of the complexities that currently exists in our society.  Her “down to earth” communication style and servant leader attitude allow her to engage people at all levels. Her career spans the corporate, non-profit, faith-based and public sectors where she has served as the Minneapolis 5th Ward City Council Member and President of the Rotary of North Minneapolis.  Johnson Lee is a life-long learner, committed mother/grandmother, faithful servant and a compassionate mentor to many.

    Mariann Johnson

    WIPS JohnsonMariann Johnson has been with the Institute for Mindful Leadership since its inception in 2010. The Institute is an international leadership development group, originally piloted and as a collaboration between General Mills Inc, and the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. In addition to serving as a founding and senior instructor for the Institute, Mariann is an accomplished organization development consultant and mediator, having worked extensively with national leaders of Fortune 100 & 500 companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Mariann has practiced mindfulness mediation for over 20 years, and studied with national and international leaders in the field. She completed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher training though the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, and now teaches MBSR at the University of Minnesota. Her writings on mindful leadership have appeared in the Huffington Post and Mindful Magazine.

    Colleen Landkamer

    WIPS LandkamerColleen Landkamer was appointed as USDA Rural Development State Director in Minnesota on July 13, 2009. She was a Commissioner in Blue Earth County for 21 years, and a Congressional Staffer. Colleen served as President of the National of Association of Counties, where she advanced issues important to local government and rural economies. She formed, implemented and served as the first chair of the NACo Rural Action Caucus and continues her involvement. Colleen led the Campaign for Renewed Rural Development, a group of 28 national organizations formed to empower and influence Congress in a non-partisan way to support rural communities through investments in infrastructure, healthcare, housing, economic development and alternative energy. She attended the Army War College, was a Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow and a Columbia University rural policy fellow, and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Program in State and Local Government from Harvard University and the 2005 New York University leadership program. In 2000, American City and County Magazine named Landkamer “County Leader of the Year.”

    Mark McCrea

    WIPS McCreaMark McCrea is the director of alternative dispute resolution services at the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry.  Over the past three decades, he has mediated or arbitrated hundreds of workers’ compensation, employment, organizational and public policy conflicts. Mark has also conducted advanced mediation, negotiation and conflict management skills courses in several states and Canadian provinces. He has assisted numerous organizations and individuals in managing conflict involving workplace practices and dynamics. A chapter authored by Mark (“Observations on Movement and Worldview Conflict in the Workplace”) is included in The Choreography of Resolution: Conflict, Movement and Neuroscience, published by the American Bar Association in 2013.

    Jamie Millard

    WIPS MillardJamie Millard is co-executive director for Pollen, a digital platform that builds better-connected communities. Jamie has been identified as a 2015 “40 Under 40" by the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, and as a "100 People to Know in 2015" by the Twin Cities Business Magazine. Jamie was recognized in the Huffington Post as one of four millennial leaders. In addition to her dream job, Jamie serves on a Greater MSP task force to address the retention and attraction of emerging talent in our region. She is also a current member and former board chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network - Twin Cities. In 2009, Jamie co-founded Paper Darts, which is now a premier Twin Cities literary institution and has published more than 600 writers and artists.

    Jane Moraski

    WIPS MoraskiJane M. Moraski, United States Navy, is the current Officer in Charge, Joint Reserve Intelligence Center, Minneapolis. Commander Moraski was commissioned in 1989, through the NROTC program at the University of Minnesota.  She held positions all across the globe including Hawaii, Florida, Virginia, Panama, Alaska, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.  She deployed on the USS George Washington to the Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas.  She served as the Senior Defense Attaché in Malta during the Arab Spring.  She will retire in November 2015, after 26 years in the Navy.

    Angela Nalezny

    WIPS NaleznyAngela Nalezny is the Human Resources Director for the City of Saint Paul, a position she has held since 2002. She has been in the Human Resources field for over twenty years; her previous work experience includes positions as Assistant City Manager, Human Resources Manager, Labor Negotiator, and HR Specialist. She is the former President of the Minnesota Chapter of the Public Employer Labor Relations Association and the Minnesota Chapter for the International Public Management Association for Human Resources. Angie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the College of Saint Benedict, and a Master of Arts degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Minnesota.

    Nathan Perez

    WIPS Perez

    Nathan A. Perez is co-author of the acclaimed job-search networking book, The 20-Minute Networking Meeting. A retained executive search professional, Nathan is responsible for the first step of the search process, devising the “where and how to find” strategies to find qualified candidates for client companies. Nathan works with job-seekers of all experience levels to give them a stronger presence on paper, in person, in job interviews, and approaching career development.  He is a national speaker on the topics of job-search networking, resume deconstruction, and LinkedIn. Learn more at 20 Minute Communications.