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2023-2024 Board members


Beatrice Owen, President

Why the League? The LWV's mission to protect and expand voting rights is key to my involvement in the League. Our democracy thrives when its citizens participate.

Why Saint Paul? I grew up in Saint Peter, lived in other parts of the country before returning here. The city is vibrant and has much to offer its citizens.

Heidi Kloempken, Vice 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.

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.


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

Why the League? I am a St. Paul League Board member after a long-term member urged me to participate. She counseled me, correctly, that I’d feel more a part of things and learn the ins and outs of the organization more quickly if I served on the Board. 

Why Saint Paul? I grew up in Falcon Heights, and after traveling throughout the country circled back to my old haunts. I lived In the Como neighborhood for almost twenty years, and now Union Park, and I’ve loved watching my two sons get a first rate education in the St. Paul Public Schools in French Immersion. I can live anywhere, but I choose St. Paul for its character, and its League, of course!

Nona Beining, Membership Chair

Why the League? I joined LWV to meet people and make a difference in the local community. 

Why Saint Paul? I moved to Saint Paul in 2020 for a job at Securian Financial. I knew that if I wanted to make friends here, the League would be a great place to start. I didn't really need to look much farther. It's sometimes hard to find the time to fit LWV activities in, but it's absolutely worth the effort!

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.

Pamela Mercier, Voter Service Co-Chair

Why the League? I serve in the League because I believe in the power of voting.  As Co-Chair of the Voter Service Committee I can help get people registered to vote and to cast their ballots knowing something about the issues and candidates. Barriers to voting remain, and we in the League can identify and work to remove them. 

Why Saint Paul? I live in Saint Paul largely because I moved here from northern Minnesota to do graduate work at the University of Minnesota. After leaving the University I decided to stay here and teach ESL. I was raised in New York and moved to Minnesota when my husband got a University teaching job here. Our children grew up in northern Minnesota, and my son, in particular, comes back here every summer to the northern woods he loves. 

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. 


Amy Perna, Candidate Forums Coordinator

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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