Lee served as the Founding Chair of Project 515, leading the legal research that uncovered the 515 laws in Minnesota, and continues his service on the board of directors. Lee is director of state and local government relations for General Mills, covering all 50 states for the company. An attorney who has worked with the Minnesota Legislature for over 15 years on staff and as a lobbyist, Lee is an active member of the local and national public affairs community. Lee and his spouse, William Fehrenbach, were married in 1998 in a UCC ceremony, entered into a civil union in Vermont in 2000, and were legally married in Canada in 2003, Vermont in 2009 and New York in 2011.
Kristin is the Vice President of Programs & Services for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. After graduating from Macalester College, Kristin spent eight years raising money in campaign politics. She almost exclusively worked for pro-choice women candidates, but gladly made an exception to be Senator Paul Wellstone’s National Finance Director in 1995. Leaving the campaign trail, Kristin earned her Masters of Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute and began her career in government relations. Kristin has worked with the State Legislature for MN Department of Health, the Office of the State Auditor, and the SEIU MN State Council. In addition to being the lead lobbyist for SEIU for six years, Kristin ran the labor union’s state PAC and voter contact program. In 2009, Kristin joined Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity to lead their government relations and advocacy efforts. Since then she’s taken on the responsibilities of directing the human service and community development operations of Habitat. Kristin is married to Robert Richman and has two children.
Kate is the Media Relations Coordinator for the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council. Prior to joining SEIU, Kate worked as the Press Secretary for Minnesotans United for All Families during the successful push to defeat the marriage amendment. Kate served as the primary spokesperson for the statewide campaign, while coordinating and executing all media coverage across the state. Prior to campaign life, Kate worked for a non-profit promoting student journalism, managed an educational access TV channel and taught broadcast journalism at the University of Illinois, as well as worked as a TV reporter in Champaign, IL. Kate completed her undergraduate and graduate work in broadcast journalism at the University of Illinois. An Illinois native, Kate and her husband, Matt, now live in Northeast Minneapolis.
Dale teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, the First Amendment, and sexual orientation and the law at the University of Minnesota. In 2007, he was appointed the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law. He was the Julius E. Davis Professor of Law for 2006-07 and the Vance K. Opperman Research Scholar for 2003-04. Dale clerked for The Honorable Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1992 to 1993. After his clerkship, he practiced at Vinson & Elkins in Houston and at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin in San Francisco. He is a frequent television, radio, and print commentator on constitutional law, the First Amendment, and sexual orientation and the law.
Susan is a development, communications and marketing professional with more than 25 years of corporate and nonprofit experience. Her nonprofit experience includes serving as director of development and communications for PFund Foundation (Philanthrofund), advancing social justice for LGBT communities in the Upper Midwest. Her positions have included serving as assistant vice president of marketing at ING and as director of consumer communications for Ameriprise Financial. As a consultant her clients have included Ameriprise Financial, Theatre de la Jeune Lune and the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. Susan served on the PFund board of directors for 4 years, and is a founding board member of Equality Minnesota, now Project 515 Education Campaign. Susan is proud to have helped start Project 515. She and her partner, Terry Williams, live in Minneapolis.
Dan Dvorak, Treasurer
Dan is an associate attorney at the Minneapolis law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP. At Faegre, Dan is a member of the Finance and Restructuring Practice Group, where his practice focuses on corporate and commercial lending, joint venture transactions, financial services, and general commercial contract drafting and negotiation. Dan also serves as a volunteer attorney for children in the foster care system through the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota. Dan is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Iowa College of Law. Both native Nebraskans, Dan and his partner reside in Northeast Minneapolis.
A life-long resident of the Twin Cities, Joel is a marketing and business management professional with more than 20 years of corporate experience. His most recent experience is at 3M, where he managed an emerging technology-oriented business. After many years of supporting nonprofit organizations financially, Joel took the plunge to serve the community in a more meaningful way and joined the board of Project 515 Education Campaign, his first non-profit experience. Joel and his partner live in Vadnais Heights.
Kirstin is Corporate Counsel-Commercial Transactions for Target Corporation, where she is a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Ally Business Council. Before joining Target, Kirstin practiced law at Oppenheimer Wolff and Donnelly. Kirstin is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and University of California – Berkeley School of Law. Kirstin provides pro bono services through LegalCORPS. She lives in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Jane Holzer, Vice Chair
Jane is a Supervising Attorney for the Housing Preservation Project, working towards legal and policy strategies to respond to Minnesota’s foreclosure crisis. Jane is a graduate of Macalester College and William Mitchell College of Law. Jane has recently been recognized for her work advocating on behalf of same-sex couples and assisting homeowners in foreclosure; she was named an Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer, One of the Best LGBT Attorneys under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association, she received the Equity and Justice award by the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association, and she was named Macalester College’s Young Alumni of the Year for 2012.
Tom Knabel, M.D., Secretary
Tom is vice president of healthcare informatics consulting at OptumInsight, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. Prior to his present position, he worked as a family physician and physician executive for HealthPartners and national medical director for United Healthcare, the nation’s largest managed healthcare organization. Tom has been active in the Twin Cities nonprofit community for a number of years. A first tenor in the Minnesota Chorale for more than two decades, he served on the Chorale’s board for 12 years, including three years as board president. He served on the board of PFund, an LGBT Foundation, from 2004-2010, including a stint as vice president. Tom co-chaired the Twin Cities Human Rights Campaign Dinner for two years and is presently a member of the Human Rights Campaign Board of Directors. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition fighting Minnesota’s anti-marriage amendment. Tom lives in Minneapolis with his partner of 22 years, Kent Allin.
Madeline is a manager of government affairs for Comcast in downtown St. Paul. Prior to her current position, Madeline worked for Tunheim Partners, a Minneapolis-based public affairs and public relations firm. Madeline’s experience also includes a staff assistant position with the Republican National Convention’s Host Committee and a press intern for former Senator Norm Coleman in Washington, DC. Madeline joined the Project 515 Communications Committee in 2009. Madeline currently volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities and lives in Minneapolis.
John Larsen, Chair
John is a principal at design45, llc, a residential design firm located in Minneapolis. In addition, John is an active member of his community, particularly dedicated to organized philanthropy and social justice. Besides Project 515, John currently serves on the board the John Larsen Foundation (his family’s small private foundation.) In the recent past, he volunteered with several other organizations including the Minnesota Council on Foundations, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, Headwaters Foundation for Justice and Together Minnesota, a coalition organization dedicated to defeating the state’s anti-LGBT marriage amendment in 2006. John lives in Minneapolis with his partner, Mike, and their dog, Sadie.
Darwin is an attorney with extensive experience in both private practice and the public sector. He is currently the Director of Appeals and Regulations at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Prior to joining the Department of Human Services, he was with Kretsch & Gust and prior to that he was the Director of the Civil Division of the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. Before joining the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, Darwin was a partner with Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School. Darwin’s previous non-profit work includes six years on the Board of Directors of District 202, a local organization whose mission is to provide safe space by and for LGBT youth. He served as the Chair of the Board for most of that time. Darwin and his partner David Potter live in the North Loop Neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Erica is a grad student, arts lover, and web nerd. Following a 12-year engineering career, she’s studying Organizational Leadership at St. Catherine University. She’s also a season ticket holder for the Minnesota Lynx and sings in the Twin Cities Women’s Choir. Erica has been blogging since 2002 and has been a leader in the Twin Cities blogging community since 2005. In addition to her personal blog she has published sites on the topics of Twin Cities life, minority experiences in Minnesota, and items of interest to queer women of color. She currently serves as the board president for the Twin Cities Women’s Choir and in the past has served on the Minnesota Fringe Festival’s board of directors and Family Equality Council’s Midwest Advisory Council. Erica lives in the Tangletown neighborhood of Minneapolis with her wife, Missy, and their dog, Peanut Louise.
Jeff recently retired after 33 years as director of government relations at Ecolab. Currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the History Theatre and serves on the Board of the Citizens League. Jeff lives in Southwest Minneapolis with his wife Jill and golden retriever Mollie.
Therace is an Officer at Target Corporation responsible for the Merchandising, Supply Chain, Healthcare and Enterprise Information Management systems. She has been at Target for 8 years and held various technology roles at St. Paul Companies (now Travelers Insurance) prior to that. Therace is active leader on Target’s senior leader diversity team. She also serves on the board of the non-profit organization Compas. Therace & her partner live in the Twin Cities.
Sheila is the principal consultant at Flying Buttress Development Consulting. Her interest in community is broad: she works with and volunteers for community building organizations ranging from statewide advocacy to local issues. When not working tirelessly to create a better community, Sheila can be found enjoying the city lakes, parks and great art.
Russ is a human resource professional with over 25 years of corporate experience and is currently a Human Resources consultant with Oberon LLC. His senior-level positions have included serving as senior vice president of human resources for both Jamba Juice Company, helping to take the company public in 2006; and Mervyn’s, a division of Target Corporation. His past non-profit experience includes six years as a member of the board of directors for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation where he served as board chair for two years. Russ has also volunteered as a big brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. Russ has served as a board member of the Project 515 since August 2008. He is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and relocated to the Twin Cities four years ago. He and his partner Chas currently live in Minneapolis.
David K. Wells III
David is a real estate professional specializing in upper bracket residential and commercial real estate sales. He is passionate about responsible urban redevelopment and affordable housing issues, focusing on exciting and innovative strategies to continually create great neighborhoods. As a straight son of his gay father, David has grown up to become a fervent advocate of GLBT rights and social justice issues. David’s past work includes serving on the board of directors of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus and co-chairing their resource development committee. He has also had varying roles volunteering with Rainbow Families, COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), Muscular Dystrophy Association and Juvenile Diabetes Association.
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