Board of Directors
Our all-volunteer Board of Directors meets monthly to ensure the organization is operating smoothly. We are grateful for the expertise they share with Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless!
In addition to the following board members, appreciation goes to Ed Retka, Board Member Emeritus, and Michael Fratto, Board Member Emeritus, for their years of service with Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless.
Jessica is a Human Resources Business Partner for Medtronic Neuromodulation. She enjoys volunteering for a number of organizations which support ending hunger, and is honored to continue this work through participating on the Board of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless. She holds a BA in Psychology from Luther College and a MA in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of MN-Carlson School of Management. She and her family live in South Minneapolis.
Katy is a project manager at UnitedHealthcare. She received a MBA from Hamline University and a BA in Social Work, Sociology, and American Sign Language from the University of Minnesota. She participated in the Service Learning House as a freshman and has volunteered in various capacities since. Katy was interested in serving on a Board again and knew that Open Your Heart was the perfect choice.
Jake Peterson joined the Board of Directors in 2014 after learning about and being inspired by the positive, constructive work Open Your Heart does for those in need around Minnesota. Jake earned his undergraduate degree in political science and legal studies from Hamline University in 2008 and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2011. Jake works as an attorney at McKinnis & Doom, P.A. in Cambridge, Minnesota.
In addition to offering important legal, business, and professional insight to the Board, Jake brings a deep motivation for helping less fortunate people secure basic resources like food and housing.
Susan joined the board in 2015 and is honored to be part of such a vibrant organization. She is a CPA, (inactive) with a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Currently, she is the Vice President of Sales Operations at Vascular Solutions. Susan is currently volunteering with several organizations and is looking forward to utilizing her skills to aid those in need of food and shelter. She and her husband currently live in Plymouth, MN.
Angela is a Quality Improvement Specialist with Nexus Youth and Family Services. She spent four years working within Child Welfare in New York City before returning back to Minnesota.
Angela holds a Master of Public Policy in Nonprofit Leadership from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota as well as a BA from the University of St Thomas in Business Communication. She lives in South Minneapolis with her family.
Jessica Bigirindavyi has been on the Board of Open Your Heart since 2016. She is a part of the FDO committee team which plans fun events with community partners. Jessica attended and graduated from St. Cloud State University. When she isn’t doing things with OYH, she enjoys traveling, being apart of young professional organizations, and attending events in the Twin Cities.
Eugene Bryskin is a real estate developer and a graduate from the University of Minnesota, Institute of Technology. With two undergraduate degrees in Math and Computer Science and ten years of experience, Eugene makes a great addition to the Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Board. Eugene was first introduced to Open Your Heart by fellow board member, Christopher Danos, at a fundraising event six years ago. Upon returning to the Midwest, Eugene decided to volunteer his time and skills to help individuals in need.
Daniel DuHamel came to know Open Your Heart through the grants Open Your Heart provided in his previous work at Simpson Housing Services (SHS). Following SHS, Daniel worked with Community Action Agencies and other emergency and social service providers on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Human Services Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). While at OEO he was able to broaden his ability to help organizations throughout Minnesota, serving those most in need, through his service on the Board of Open Your Heart. Now working at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), he holds his connection to helping those in need through his involvement with OYH. Daniel holds a Master of Public Policy in Nonprofit Leadership from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and a Master of Education from the University of Minnesota.
Over her thirty-five year career, Hartmann has created and nurtured partnerships among government, business, philanthropic and community organizations to address community needs. She was the co-founder and Executive Director of New Foundations, a seventeen year old organization, providing housing and comprehensive services for homeless families.
Prior to founding New Foundations, she served as the Executive Director of Wayside House, a chemical dependency treatment program for women, where she developed the State’s first permanent supportive housing program for homeless women and children in recovery. She is the former Executive Director of the St. Paul YWCA, Hennepin County Affirmative Action Programs, and the Minneapolis Head Start Program.
She is a member of the National, State and Local Coalitions for the Homeless; The Governor’s Council on ending Long-Term Homelessness, Founding member of National Building Better Communities Association; and the Family Supportive Housing Providers Group. She is a national and local speaker and presenter, on the issues homelessness among families and children, including Congress, the President’s Roundtable, Washington D.C., Supportive Housing Conferences, universities and government entities. She is a recipient of the Ann Bancroft Award, a graduate of the University of St. Catherine, and a consultant for nonprofits, foundations, educational, and governmental organizations.
Roger Henry has served on the board of directors of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless from 1991 through 2010. After working for 33 years in the finance industry Roger has retired and welcomes the opportunity to rejoin the board. He can now focus his passion full time to working on the issues of hunger, homelessness, and his golf swing! As a lifelong fixer upper, he has worked on many Habitat for Humanity houses, both in the metro area, and in Jamaica. Roger is currently the Executive Director of the Foundation of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.
Derek joined the Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless (OYH) Board of Directors in February of 2015 and enjoys working with an amazing organization that shares his vision for the community. He became familiar with OYH while working at Our Saviour’s Community Services, an organization that serves homeless adults in Hennepin County. Currently, he is a Program Manager at Catholic Charities for the Housing First Program in Hennepin County.
Derek holds a BA from University Of North Dakota with concentrations in Political Science, Nonprofit Leadership and Philosophy, MA in Psychology and is completing MBA with specialization in Project Management from Saint Mary’s University. He brings a strong passion and a moral belief that communities must ensure everyone has fair access to housing and food.
Derek and his wife live in South Minneapolis.
Susan joined the board of Open Your Heart in February 2011 and values the opportunity to work with fellow board members to support the mission of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless. She attended the University of MN and received a mini MBA in Financial Management. Susan recently retired after many years with The Toro Company in Bloomington MN where she held various positions in marketing and finance. Susan regularly volunteers in her community and is excited about the opportunity to contribute to OYH’s efforts to provide assistance to those in Minnesota in need of food and shelter.
Kate is a Human Resources Generalist for the City of Saint Paul. She first learned about Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless when serving as a coordinator for the City of Saint Paul Charitable Giving Campaign and was excited to get involved further after the campaign. She holds a BA in Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Saint Paul with her fiancé, cat and dog.
Amy Olson has worked at the University of Minnesota for almost 30 years and during that time she came to know Open Your Heart as a volunteer and some time paid staff member of the University’s Charitable Fund Drive. She served as a member of OYH’s Inaugural Board of Directors and has enthusiastically rejoined in an effort to address the issues of hunger and homelessness that continue to grow throughout Minnesota. She believes that these are basic needs of every human in our society and they must be met before we work toward achieving other goals. Amy holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and after graduating she was recruited by the University where she has served as an administrator of programs, conferences and events. She is currently a Coordinator for Continuing Medical Education in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in the U’s Medical School. Amy and her sister live in Roseville along with their two cats.
Attending an Open Your Heart community event inspired Paul to seek out ways he could volunteer. “I was very impressed with the passion and dedication of the staff and Board Members and immediately knew that I should be a part of such a worthwhile organization.” For the past 30 years, Paul has held sales and marketing positions with various software companies, and is currently working for Silicon Valley startup Platfora. He and his wife Judy recently moved to Downtown Minneapolis.
Lynn joined the Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Board in February 2017 as a way to become more actively involved in the community as a volunteer. She holds a graduate certificate in Addiction Studies from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from St. Mary’s University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Sociology from Iowa State University. Lynn has a background in human services, mental health and public policy and is currently Team Lead for an integrative health care program at Guild Incorporated.
Chris is a curriculum and instructional designer at Capella University. For the past 25 years, Chris has been employed in a variety of industries from IT, to transportation, to healthcare, to insurance, and now education. In 2010, she learned about OYH through a colleague and was inspired by OYH’s mission to improve lives across the state of Minnesota to focus on the issues of homelessness and hunger. Chris enjoys spending time with her family and resides in the south metro area of Minneapolis.