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2022-2023 Board members

OFFICERS

Amy Perna, Co-President

Amy lives in the Como Park neighborhood with her husband and daughter. She has served as the Candidate Forum Coordinator, Voter Service Chair, Membership Chair and has been a member since 2017. She has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota and a Master's from the Humphrey School of Public Policy. Amy's passion for civic and community engagement began in high school, organizing students and faculty to support Diversity Day. She believes that a healthy democracy requires informed and engaged citizens, open and responsive government and the opportunity to take action.

Heidi Kloempken, Co-President

Heidi has lived in St. Paul since 2010 and been a League member since 2016. With a passion for education and civic engagement, Heidi's favorite League activity is registering voters at libraries and high schools. Outside of League, Heidi works as a teacher educator, enjoys reading, and loves attending baseball games.

Nichole Fairbanks, Treasurer

Nichole Fairbanks has served as Treasurer of the Board since 2017 and has been a member since 2015.  Prior to taking over those duties, she assisted LWVSP with the preparation of their annual compiled financial statements since 2009. She has volunteered at candidate forums and voter registration events. Nichole is a CPA at the accounting firm Harrington Langer & Associates.  She began working at HLA in 2005 and became a partner in 2010.  Her areas of expertise are nonprofits and small business tax and consulting.  Nichole grew up in Red Wing, MN and graduated from Winona State University.  Her hobbies include traveling, tennis, gardening and volunteering.

Hayden Kilkenny, Vice President & Candidate Forum Coordinator

Hayden leads the very important work of coordinating efforts to hold nonpartisan candidate forums and voter registration events.

Jacquelyn Kelly, Secretary & Membership

Jacquelyn is a resident of Oakdale. She is a stay home parent with two children and a full time parent caregiver to one of her children with a disability. Jacquelyn is an active member political organizer for the home care workers union, SEIU HCMN. Jacquelyn has been active in engaging with lawmakers about labor rights for PCA’s and family home care workers. Jacquelyn is passionate about helping members of her community engage with local government and exercise their rights through civic engagement.


DIRECTORS


Donna Addkison, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

National Program Director and CEO, Wider Opportunities for Women; Chief Development Officer, City of New Orleans; CEO for a regional chamber of commerce and economic development foundation; and Deputy Chief of Staff, Special Assistant for Economic Development and Washington Office Director for a Governor. Highlights include securing $11 million in deposits prior to opening a credit union in an underserved neighborhood; bringing in more than $50 million in grant dollars for minority business development and environmental reclamation for Orleans Parish; opening the first business redevelopment center in the state following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; working with a team to develop a measure of what it costs to live in every county in the nation for more than 420 family types, and launching a pet pantry to keep pets in place with their people. Donna serves as Chief Development Officer for Veterans Yoga Project, a nonprofit providing programming for veterans, active-duty military and military family members living with PTS(D). Additionally, Donna coaches teens and adults living with ADHD or Executive Function impairments and those in relationship with them. She dedicates a portion of her time to MN Pride Rotary Club, League of Women Voters of St Paul, and Karuna Community. Donna holds two advanced degrees and is a Registered Yoga Teacher. A staunch animal rights and rescue advocate, she is “mom” to rescued Yorkshire Terriers, Rocky and Emma Ruth.


Cheryl Bailey, Program Co-Chair

Cheryl recently retired from a 25 year career as a Gynecologic Oncologist, working primarily at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. As a cancer surgeon, she saw up close how lack of a logical payment system negatively affected her patients. As a mother of two teenage boys, she remains keenly interested in our educational system. As a retired physician dealing with women’s health, she is very supportive of reproductive health care rights. Dr. Bailey feels more than ever that all politics are local, and hopes to support the League’s mission of advocating for educated voters. She hopes to work on candidate forums, bringing all candidates closer to the public who will elect them, and voter registration, particularly in high school voters. She lives in Merriam Park with her husband Dan and two teenage sons.

Nona Beining, Membership Chair

Nona moved to MN in May 2020 to take a job at Securian Financial as a Customer Insights Consultant. The first thing she did after moving the St Paul was look for her local League. She joined the board in the fall of 2020. Her daughter, two dogs and cat live in the Mac Groveland neighborhood.

Her non-profit and volunteer work has spanned a couple different organizations. She started out as a 4-H leader and US Pony Club district commissioner, joint-district commissioner and secretary. Once her daughter graduated high school and moved to MN for school, she refocused her efforts on political activation. 

In 2016 a group of like-minded community organizers formed a new LWV in Sheboygan County. She's  served as secretary, liaison to the LWVWI DEI committee, and liaison for the Complete Count Committee (Census Dept) for Sheboygan County.

Joann Ellis, Voter Service Co-Chair & CMAL Representative

Joann Ellis has resided in St. Paul on the East Side for over 30 years. She had known about the League for many years but finally decided to join the cause after this past November elections. She is a teacher by trade and has always felt the value of education in any situation! She believes now is the time that we need to engage, encourage and educate people about what voting is and how it affects their daily lives. Over the years, Joann has been involved in many causes from Early Childhood Education to advocating for the aging. She has organized rallies at the State Capitol, served on many Boards in the areas of education, parent advocacy, community events and programs and aging. She also organized a Living at Home/Block Nurse Program in her area that is still up and running today.


Beatrice Owen, Program Co-Chair

Beatrice is a new member to the St Paul League. A former member and board member of the League of Women Voters of La Porte County in Indiana, she values the work that the League does in the community and for the community. She has over 25 years of management experience in non-profits including leading a coalition in Indiana to reduce youth substance abuse. Currently she is executive director for a state-wide trade association, the Minnesota Chapter National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Pamela Mercier, Voter Service Co-Chair

Pamela has lived in Saint Paul for twenty two years having moved from Bemidji, Minnesota.  In Bemidji she developed a career as an ELL teacher at the high school and University level. She completed her Master's Degree in ELL education at Reading University in 1990. When she moved to the Twin Cities she studied at the University of Minnesota and began teaching in the Saint Paul Public Schools. She retired in 2021 and currently, teaches English to adult English Language Learners at the Hubbs Center in Saint Paul. Her work with the League began in 2021 when she joined the Program Committee.  She is delighted to join the Voter Service Committee as well. Over the past few years her involvement in civic engagement issues and efforts has grown markedly. In particular, she has developed and participated in voter registration and voter education events in school settings. She is excited to have the opportunity to imagine and implement more voter service activities in St. Paul as Co-Chair.

Lia Pak, Youth Vote Co-Chair

I am currently a student at Macalester college ('23) majoring in Political Science and Biology, with a concentration in Community and Global Health. I'm from Northfield, Minnesota but I currently live in St. Paul in a house near campus. I first got involved with LWVSP in the fall of 2020 as part of an internship for one of my classes, but I've been interested in politics for as long as I can remember. When I'm not in school or working with LWVSP I'm probably competing with Mac's mock trial team, baking, or watching silly TV with my housemates.

Grace Reardon, Youth Vote Co-Chair

Grace just graduated from Macalester College with a degree in political science. During her time at Mac, she worked as the LWVSP Youth Vote Coordinator and was a 2020 Youth Civic Engagement Fellow with the League of Women Voters Minnesota. She is currently working as a project manager at a non-profit advocacy organization and is excited to continue working with the Youth Vote Committee and high school Student Leaders. 




OFF-BOARD VOLUNTEERS

Nick Harper, Website

A member since 2014 and a former Co-President of LWVSP, Nick Harper now takes care of LWVSP's website as Webmaster and provides office support for its membership and email service. In his day job, Nick is the Civic Engagement Director for LWV Minnesota.

Amy Mino, Communications & Development

Amy is a former President of LWVSP and has served in various capacities over the last 15 years. She now assists the Program Committee with communications and the Saint Paul chapter with annual fundraising drive and assists the board as needed with insight and guidance. Amy works as the Executive Director of the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul.

Diane Hellekson, The Voter Editor

Diane works as a content strategist at U.S, Bank, helping produce web and mobile app content. Before that she was a landscape architect for 15 years and before that, a journalist. Her last full-time journalism gig was art critic/reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She also reviewed restaurants there for five years.

She  lives in Mac-Groveland with her husband of one year and their blended family of two cats and one dog. (Their three adult sons, all living in the Twin Cities, get along better than the pets.)




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