Where you belong
A fresh perspective for Minnetonka
I grew up on the shores of Bde Maka Ska. Our Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood was my playground. Summer days were spent by the lake shore, followed by schoolyard games in the dead-end street. The games on our block were chaperoned by the street lights. When the lights awoke each night during a game of Kick the Can, we knew it was time for dinner. My family was always busy in the community volunteering and organizing neighborhood events. I fondly remember the Labor Day Picnic and bike parade, alley pick-up, holiday caroling, and backyard performances. I was young when I learned civic engagement was important and that I could contribute my skills meaningfully.
When my family moved to Minnetonka, we hoped to find a similar sense of place for our children and we have. Over the years there have been charity lemonade stands, youth triathlons, Halloween parties, Spring egg hunts, graduations and retirements. These events mark the passage of time in our community and remind us that we belong.
By the time I studied at the University of Kansas, I was set on direct service as a career and pursued my passion intently. After experiences volunteering with Head Start and the local County courthouse, I began to work in domestic violence and advocacy. This worked impacted me deeply and I carry those experiences with me every day. Hard things change you, they change families and communities. They remind us that solutions are possible when everyone’s voice is included and valued.
After years of direct service with women, children and families, I entered graduate school to better understand the conditions that enable communities and difficult systems to not only survive but thrive. Upon completion of my graduate degree in Nonprofit Management I began work in philanthropy. I was drawn to system wide approaches to solve the most complex problems and the positive impact of sustained financial support.
I'm grateful to extend my personal story and my life's work to public service on the Minnetonka City Council. I will use my skills to make a difference close to home, together with you
I am thankful for my appointment to the Minnetonka City Council as an At-large member. My service began when I took my oath on March 4th, 2019. The Mayor, City Council members and city staff work hard every day to ensure every resident has access to the services and support they need. I am pleased to join the effort and I renew my oath every day I serve as your council member.
In 2017, I was selected as a Humphrey School of Public Affairs Policy Fellow. During the program I was immersed in opportunities to manage across difference and collectively solve problems. The program was challenging, the people impeccable and my personal growth immeasurable.
I also serve as a Patient/Family Advisor for Allina Health since 2012. In addition to my advisory role, I have been a national speaker for Allina and served at the executive level as a liaison to leadership on the Allina Quality Council which establishes the Allina Health Quality Plan. I am compelled to represent the patient voice after a life changing health event claimed my sister and best friend, Pam Taylor.
Starkey Humanitarian Award
My company and I were recognized with the Starkey Humanitarian Award for proving that providing safe, clean water to communities in need could be affordable, scientifically defensible and sustainable long term, and for improving water quality for more than 300,000 people in Colon, Honduras. Additionally, Project SafeWater trained communities on best practices for health and hygiene and has built more than 15,000 sanitary pit latrines so water re-contamination is minimized.
Minnesota Idea Open,
Pollie Award for Public Engagement
My organization partnered with the Minnesota Idea Open and earned the American Association of Political Consultants Pollie Award for public engagement. The Minnesota Idea Open asked citizens to think strategically about water quality improvement. During the MN State Fair, more than 10,000 people voted for selected projects and the winner was awarded $15,000 to implement an inter-generational farming collaborative.
Project Green Fleet,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Clean Air Excellence Award
Project Green Fleet was an initiative designedand launched during my tenure and is now a regional effort to reduce diesel emissions from school buses, heavy-duty trucks, construction equipment, and other diesel vehicles. This program was honored with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Excellence Award for its cross-sector, multi-organizational leadership strategy and for being a proactive model for other "non-mandated air quality states" in the fight for improved air quality.
- Southwest Light Rail Transit Public Art Committee
- Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative
- Partner of the Year, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
- Member of the Year, Environmental Initiative
- Colorado Mental Health Funders Collaborative
Finding Your Place
Minnetonka demographics are changing. I prioritize welcoming young professionals, new families and supporting our seniors. It is important to create programs that expand varied and accessible housing options.
Protecting & Preserving
Minnetonka has a variety of beautiful natural resources that make our community special. I represent the need to manage growth opportunities with the protection of our beloved natural assets.
Infrastructure & Transportation
Minnetonka continues to grow and change. As a result, improvements to infrastructure remain critical. I advocate for well-maintained infrastructure so quality programs and services continue for every resident.