• 2017 WIPS Speakers and Presenters

    Peggy Andrews Peggy Andrews

    Senior Lecturer, Hamline School of Business

    Peggy Andrews teaches undergraduate and MBA courses in management, leadership, and organizational behavior. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Andrews worked in the field of human resources for more than 20 years and held staff and leadership positions at The Pillsbury Company, Personnel Decisions International, Ameriprise Financial (formerly American Express Financial Advisors), and Total Solutions Group. Her research interests include strategic hiring practices, white collar layoffs, and maternal employment. Andrews' aim is to help individuals and organizations create environments, systems, and processes that advance their ability to flourish.


    Geralyn Barone

    city manager, city of minnetonka  Geralyn Barone

    Geralyn Barone is a tenured municipal government leader who currently serves as the Minnetonka city manager. She previously worked for the cities of Brooklyn Center and St. Louis Park. Out of college, Geralyn entered a male-dominated profession and was instrumental in implementing the Minnesota Pay Equity Act for local governments. Her expertise is in strategic planning, fiscal management, and city council and employee relations. She has a dedicated commitment to the city’s shared values, ensuring a positive, respectful culture of excellence. Geralyn has a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in public affairs, both from the University of Minnesota. She serves on the Minnesota City/County Managers Association (MCMA) and Municipal Legislative Commission boards and chairs the MCMA Women in the Profession Task Force.


    Toni Carter Toni Carter

    Ramsey County Commissioner

    Elected to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners by the voters of District 4 in 2005, Commissioner Carter’s priorities are 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. Her work on behalf of Ramsey County citizens includes local, statewide, and national leadership.


    Elise ChambersEchambers

    Program Director, Conflict Resolution Center

    Elise Chambers is the program director of the Conflict Resolution Center (CRC), an attorney, a qualified neutral under Minnesota Rule 114, and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota School of Law. Elise is also trained in facilitated dialogue methods, including nonviolent communication and the art of hosting practices. She has over two decades of experience in nonprofit programming. At CRC, Elise has developed workshops and trainings in mediation, communication skills, brain science, youth mentoring, community leadership, and group facilitation processes. To help them achieve their goals, Elise designs and implements trainings and facilitated processes for nonprofit organizations, coalitions, government offices, and businesses to address communication issues, conflict, and the challenges inherent in change processes.


    Nou Chang Nou Chang

    Human Resources Recruiter, Office of Human Resources, City of Saint Paul

    Nou Chang began her public service career with the city of Saint Paul in 2006. She served in various roles to support the business needs of the city before discovering her passion for human resources. In her current role as human resources recruiter, Chang works closely with city departments to create targeted recruitment plans to attract and retain qualified diverse candidates who reflect the people the city serves. She also collaborates with community organizations to bring transparency to the city's hiring process. She currently holds a bachelor's degree in communications studies and a Human Resources Generalist certificate from the University of Minnesota.


    Kari CollinsKari Collins2 

    Community Development director, City of roseville

     Kari Collins is the first female community development director for the City of Roseville. Kari, a Maplewood native, came to Roseville in 2012, first serving in the Administration Department as the assistant to the city manager before being promoted in early 2016 to community development director. As director, Kari manages the code enforcement, planning, and economic development divisions for the city. Prior to working for the city Roseville, Kari served as the zoning administrator for the city of Milwaukee. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Augsburg College and a master’s degree in urban studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


    Kay Lillig Cotter Kay Lillig Cotter 1

    Adjunct professor, hamline school of business

    Kay Lillig Cotter has over 20 years of experience working with a variety of organizations to build leadership talent, design transformational programs, and coach individual executives to achieve their vision and goals. She has worked with a large range of organizations, including major Fortune 500 companies; smaller, private businesses; and government/public sector organizations. She also has personal experience with nonprofits. She headed the assessment services at Personnel Decisions International, building the organization capabilities and business as the company launched operations worldwide during the 1990s. And her experience was augmented by 13 years working abroad in the 2000s across the Asia-Pacific area and leading the Japan office of Personnel Decisions International. She earned her Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and her M.S. in psychology from Portland State University in Oregon. Her B.S. is also in psychology and is from the University of South Dakota at Vermillion. 


    Kasey KierKasey Kier

    Single Family Commissioner, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

    Kasey Kier was appointed as the single family assistant commissioner at Minnesota Housing in 2014. In this role, Ms. Kier leads the Single Family Division, which promotes and supports successful homeownership through homebuyer education, counseling, and outreach and provides financing for a variety of affordable lending programs for low- to moderate-income Minnesotans. She is responsible for the overall planning, management, and oversight of the single family home mortgage, home improvement, community development programs, and production. Ms. Kier has been with Minnesota Housing since 1994. Her previous roles at Minnesota Housing include business operations manager, low-income housing tax credit allocation manager, multifamily housing program professional, and single family housing development officer. Prior to that, Ms. Kier held positions at Prudential Home Mortgage and ITT Financial Corporation. Ms. Kier hold a bachelor of arts degree in business management and management information systems from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ms. Kier is a graduate of the Mortgage Bankers Association School of Mortgage Banking and holds the accredited mortgage professional (AMP) specialist designation. Ms. Kier also holds the project management professional (PMP) certification through the Project Management Institute and house development finance professional certification through the National Development Council. Ms. Kier sits on the Minnesota Homeownership Center Board of Directors and is a member of the Freddie Mac Affordable Housing Advisory Council.


    Kim Luchsinger Kim Luchsinger

    Human resources generalist, Minnesota housing finance agency

    Kim Luchsinger has been a human resources generalist with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for the past five years. She launched and continues to serve on the agency’s Cultural Competency Committee, focusing on how to make the agency a more welcoming and inclusive workplace for all employees as well as building staff cultural competence. Prior to this, she worked as a human resources generalist in the social services industry. Kim holds a bachelor of arts and Master of Business Administration from Bethel University. She lives in Hugo, Minnesota, with her husband and daughter.


    Anna McKeig Justice McKeig

    Associate Justice, Minnesota Judicial Center Supreme Court

    The Honorable Anne K. McKeig joined the Minnesota Supreme Court on September 1, 2016. She is the first American Indian appointed to the state’s highest court. Justice McKeig previously served as an assistant Hennepin County attorney and district court judge. She has worked on several committees focusing on child welfare and domestic violence issues, taught as an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and spoken at numerous conferences regarding child protection and tribal community issues. A descendant of the White Earth Nation, Justice McKeig is a native of Northern Minnesota, married, and a proud mother of five children.


    Kim Mitchell Kim Mitchell

    Financial Advisor, alpha financial services

    Kim Mitchell devotes his time to mentoring, guiding, and helping others achieve their financial goals. He has been an active financial advisor for the past four years and previously founded and operated Mitchell Capital Management. Devoted to veterans, he established the nonprofit group THRIVE to help improve the veterans’ unemployment rate by translating their military skills into résumés, connecting them with community business leader mentors, and ultimately transitioning them to successful civilian careers. He has held several C-Level positions in organizations from start-ups to Fortune 500s, including US Water Services, USBioEnergy, Borden Foods, Bobcat, and Engineered Synergy.


    Rena Moran Rena Moran 2017

    State Representative, Minnesota House of Representatives

    On January 4, 2011, Representative Rena Moran was sworn in as the first African American state representative to represent the city of Saint Paul in the Minnesota House of Representatives. She represents District 65A, one of Saint Paul’s most diverse communities. She is currently serving her fourth term in the House and is the deputy minority leader in the House and the co-chair of the People of Color Indigenous (Legislators) Caucus, known as the POCI Caucus. She sits on three committees: Education Finance, Health and Human Services Reform, and Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance. Rena’s life is full of experiences working to empower individuals, strengthen families, and build vibrant communities. As a legislator, Rena advocates for racial, social, and economic justice and equity. Some of her proudest legislative accomplishments include her work on pay equity through the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA) during the 2013–2014 legislative session and, more recently, her work on the Women of Color Opportunities Act (WOCOA), in which she secured funding for the advancement of women of color in high-wage, high-demand, nontraditional jobs. Her goal is to connect the community to the capitol and the capitol to the community. Rena also works for Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota. She created and coordinates a statewide parent leadership team that connects parents to work groups, task forces, and committees within the Department of Human Services to ensure that the parent voice is represented through the involvement and leadership of parents. Rena is the mother of seven children and the grandmother to five.


    Rebecca Noecker Rebecca Noecker

    City Council Member, City of Saint Paul

    Rebecca Noecker is an innovative leader, a community builder, and a strong advocate for social justice. Rebecca grew up in St. Louis Park and earned her bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard College. She dedicated her early career to educational equity as a middle school science teacher with Teach for America in Baton Rouge, a program officer at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Teach For India, and as director of community engagement at AchieveMpls. Rebecca has served on the board of the West Side Community Organization and the Saint Paul Planning Commission, and she founded West Siders for Strong Schools, a neighborhood group dedicated to promoting excellent public schools on the West Side. In 2015, Rebecca was elected to be the first woman to represent Ward 2 on the Saint Paul City Council. Her priorities are equity, economic development, and creating opportunities for young people. Rebecca lives with her husband, Shane Noecker, and their sons, Whitman and Fitzgerald, on Saint Paul’s West Side.


    Theresa Nutt Theresa Nutt

    Transformational Life and Health Coach, Closeted Creatives Coaching

    Theresa Nutt is a transformational life and health coach, author, and speaker. She empowers women who are disenchanted with the daily grind to become vibrant, imaginative, and unforgettable. The women she works with are successful, smart, and high-achieving women who tend to over give, are hyper responsible, and find themselves daydreaming about that magic someday when they can finally be first on their list. In addition to her coaching practice, Closeted Creatives Coaching, she is a member of the graduate faculty at the University of Minnesota in the health coaching program. You can reach her at www.theresanutt.com or (949) 728-8640.


    Molly O'Rourke Molly O'Rourke

    County Administrator, Washington County

    Molly O’Rourke has served as the Washington County administrator since January 2012. Prior to her appointment as administrator, she served as the deputy administrator for 11 years. O’Rourke joined the county in 1995 as the assistant auditor-treasurer, and was later selected as the director of Assessment, Taxpayer Services, and Elections department.  Prior to joining Washington County, O’Rourke worked for the City of Saint Paul for 10 years. She started as a City Council legislative aide and was promoted to several positions, including city clerk, and director of the Mayor and City Council Information and Complaint Office.  O’Rourke has a bachelor of social development degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a masters of public administration from Hamline University.  O’Rourke and her husband, Dennis, have two adult married daughters, and three, soon to be four, grandchildren.


    Trish Perry Trish Perry

    Certified Master Life Coach, Harmonize Coaching

    Trish Perry is a certified master life coach who provides services to help individuals create and live the best lives they can imagine. She specializes in serving people experiencing adversity (also referred to as adverse stress incidents or ASIs). She is the founder of Harmonize Coaching. She works with both individuals and corporations to coach individuals with ASIs. Her goal is to make a positive impact on people’s lives every day. Trish has over 20 years of mentoring and coaching experience in the corporate and nonprofit worlds. She understands and believes in delivering outstanding results on a consistent basis. She was a successful executive for 20 years at Target as well as other corporations. She has worked with all levels, from CEOs to administrative assistants, acknowledging that everyone has an important role in the success of a company/organization, and she is able to build strong cross-functional teams. Giving back to the community is one of Trish’s core values. She has dedicated thousands of hours at nonprofits such as Girl Scouts, Feed My Starving Children, and Minneapolis Public Schools. Currently, she is serving as the chair of the human resources committee at the Minnesota Council of Churches, a mentor and mock interviewer at Goodwill Easter Seals, and the treasurer/secretary for her BNI chapter, and she teaches mindfulness based stress reduction (Jon Kabat Zinn) to teens. Trish lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Jay, and their three children.

    Alicia Sojourner Alicia Sojourner

    Racial Equity Consulting Manager, YWCA Minneapolis

    Alicia is a self-proclaimed hip-hop purist and racial equity consultant manager with YWCA Minneapolis in that order. They are driven by supporting opportunities to capitalize on innovative practices within organizations that improve their workplace culture by addressing some of our most difficult social workplace problems. Alicia is instrumental in leading YWCA Minneapolis to the position of market leader in the diversity, inclusion, and equity consulting business. Alicia’s work includes but is not limited to: team development, equity toolkits, baseline assessments, diversity and inclusion workshops, identity-driven leadership for leaders of color/LGBTQ, consultancy, and executive coaching. Alicia is an Intercultural Development Inventory® qualified administrator, Kingian nonviolence conflict reconciliation and leadership trainer, racial justice facilitator and trainer, and Real Colors® personality certified facilitator. Over the years, Alicia has been involved in many personal activities including: sitting on the Aeon board of directors and supporting homes for all, acting as a member of Interfaith Children’s Advocacy Network, leading a support group for parents who are parenting on their own, raising awareness of the opportunity gap of children with disabilities in communities of color, and working to end disparities in employment for LGBTQ2S of color in Minnesota. Alicia has been awarded the Beat the Odds Award through the Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota and the Young Alaka'i Award for working with marginalized youth and was the winner of Inspiring Women by the WNBA Minnesota Lynx.


    Barbara Sporlein Barbara Sporlein

    Deputy Commissioner, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

    Barb Sporlein began her appointment as deputy commissioner in November 2011. Barb’s primary responsibilities include leadership and oversight of the agency’s human resources, agency-wide planning and performance reporting, operations and operating budget, credit risk, policy and community development, interagency collaborations, and work with Tribal Nations and urban Indian communities. Prior to this position, she served as planning director for the city of Minneapolis from 2004 to 2011, deputy director of the Saint Paul Public Housing Agency from 1994 to 2004, and city planner for the city of Saint Paul from 1990 to 1994. Barb holds a master of planning degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, bachelors of science degree in urban geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a certificate of advanced studies in public administration from Hamline University in Saint Paul. She is a certified housing finance professional and certified public housing manager and serves on the advisory board for the Urban Land Institute Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership and the ULI MN Affordable Housing Council. She lives in Arden Hills with her husband and two boys.


    Heather Stein

    Statewide affirmative action compliance officer,  minnesota management and budget, state of minnesota 

    Heather Stein oversees affirmative action planning and the Connect 700 program for the state of Minnesota. After beginning her career in human resources six years ago, she has since focused her work on evaluating hiring processes and creating diverse and inclusive recruitment and retention strategies. Heather is a member of the Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement team at Minnesota Management and Budget, which focuses on attracting, engaging, and developing dynamic people to support the government's mission to create a better Minnesota for all.


    Erik Sutcliffe Erik Sutcliffe

    registered representative, Alpha Financial Services

    Erik Sutcliffe is a financial advisor with Alpha Financial services. Erik has leadership experience in both the public and private sector. In 2000, Erik founded Integrity Communications & Solutions, Inc., a telecommunications firm managing projects for Fortune 1000 companies and their branch locations across the United States and Canada. Boot-strapping the endeavor, the firm employs nine people with annual sales of $2.3 million. Erik’s time in public service includes employment at the General Services Administration and Department of the Air Force as both a civilian and military officer. He still serves as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, assigned to Headquarters Air Force, Munitions, Missile, and Nuclear Weapons Policy Division in Washington, D.C.


    Susan Zimmerman Susan Zimmerman

    Director of Education, Mindful Asset Planning

    Susan Zimmerman’s mindful programs help people tame their stress for good. She helps you recharge your energy and increase calm resilience even in stormy times. As a licensed therapist, certified clinical trauma professional, and chartered financial consultant, Susan shares lessons from neuroscience so you can “meet and greet” your brain and use it in new ways. She’s the author of several books and a money personality assessment aimed at helping people live happily in alignment with their values. She designs all her programs with built-in tricks to help you remember to do them. She’s been quoted extensively in the media, including Fox9 and KSTP television news, and in the Wall Street Journal. Get uplifted for good as you hop aboard Susan’s “brain train!”