JULIE MURPHY – Principal
Julie Murphy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, School of Journalism with minors in French Art History and English. She has more than 20 years experience functioning as an Advancement and Development Director for various agencies including Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency (MVNA), the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) and Tubman Family Alliance. Through these roles as well as positions with the National Retiree Volunteer Council and Twin Cities Public Television, Julie has honed her expertise in strategic marketing and communications planning, event management and fundraising. Her various experiences have also given her a strong background in Volunteer Leadership and Board Development. Professional achievements include launching the MVNA’s Flu Shot Program with the Health Fair 11 and UCARE to produce one of the nation’s most successful public flu shot campaigns to date, raising more than $500,000 annually from 2002-2005 for “An Evening Among Stars,” MEDA’s annual gala which became a “Business Journal Top 25,” and in 2005 launching her own business, J. Murphy & Associates. On her days off, Julie likes to “rest, throw dinner parties, cook, and be with my family.” She also loves watching crocuses bloom in the spring, taking vacations to Florida or Belize, and cheering for the Vikings.
SARAH VAN DUSSELDORP – Development Manager
Sarah is a graduate of Hamline University, where she majored in English and Secondary Education. After student teaching in Minneapolis Public Schools, she spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA, focused on building the capacity of nonprofits in the Twin Cities. It was there she found a passion for grant writing. Sarah has worked in a variety of fields including the culinary industry and in youth development, but one thing has always remained the same: her drive to help others. When not at work, you can find her busy whipping up something delicious in her kitchen or outside in her garden with her beagle. She also loves Tiger Lilies, the Chicago Cubs, and vacation in Cinque Terre, Italy.
KARI THOMPSON – Development Director
Kari has more than 20 years of experience working in nonprofit/philanthropic communities in Minneapolis, MN and Denver, CO. She has worked in both development and nonprofit management, and holds a B.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Mankato State University. As an independent fundraising consultant, Kari worked with a diverse range of clients, including a variety of nonprofit organizations, schools, political campaigns and even a major league baseball team. She has helped executive leaders and boards of directors to develop strategic fundraising plans and has served as a mentor to start-up organizations on capital campaigns, special events, and the research, development and writing of grants. Kari has also served as development manager for Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, a community foundation, and Cornerstone, a domestic violence organization, providing direction and leadership to staff while overseeing all aspects of marketing and fundraising.
Collectively, Kari has helped to raise nearly $50 million dollars! When she is not working on raising money for a cause, Kari enjoys spending her weekends on the hiking trail, on the ski slopes, or running and biking around Lake Harriet with her family.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Kate holds a B.A. degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and a M.A. degree in Strategic Leadership from Bethel University. Kate has marketing and communications experience in the private sector and in higher education. She has experience developing new products, determining consumer trends, analyzing product pricing, managing complex projects, creating event communications plans, developing marketing and communications materials, and leading a team. Known for her positive attitude and results driven approach, Kate is a self-starter who thrives on responsibility. Kate ensures accurate, creative, and timely development of marketing materials, communications initiatives, and strategic planning. On her time off, she likes outdoor adventures with her family, running, and spending time with friends. Kate enjoys lilacs in the spring, Gopher football, and vacation in New York City or Disney World.
MOLLY HEMES – Development Coordinator & Grant Writer
Molly graduated with honors from Carleton College with a B.A. in English. Following graduation, she found her passion for nonprofit development as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at the Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center, which provides tennis and life skills programming for Twin Cities low-income youth. Molly researches and writes grants on a variety of topics for our clients, and she provides assistance to the JMA team. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, playing tennis, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.
EMILY ROLLAG – Human Resources & Operations Manager
Emily joined us as a Development Associate. Prior to coming to J. Murphy & Associates Emily was a paralegal for Meshbesher & Spence law firm. She has also worked for Bremer & Trollop, Foley & Mansfield and GMAC. Emily earned a B.S degree in Paralegal from Winona State University. She serves on the Children’s Ministry Committee at her church and has volunteered teaching Firelight, Ablaze and Affirm classes.
Emily enjoys spending time with her family, especially cheering for her four children as they are active in band, track, soccer, baseball and basketball. She likes to bike, run 5Ks and explore new restaurants.
PAUL HUDACHEK – Graphic Designer
Paul recently completed his sophomore year at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where he is studying graphic design. He is already well-versed in print design, creating books to brochures to posters, and he understands the printing process. Paul has a particular interest in typography and learning more about coding.
LIZ WILLIAMS – Senior Grant Writer
Liz graduated in 2010 from Hamline University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and has been involved with non-profits ever since. With more than 5 years of development and grant writing experience, she enjoys helping non-profits grow and deliver on their mission. Liz holds a particular passion for dance and the performing arts, having produced and performed in several shows for local dance companies.
In her free time she can be found geeking out to pretty much any and all things Lord of the Rings, researching new and exciting places to travel to, hiking with her husband, or taking care of the cats (also known as “the kids”).
BEV ORDAHL – Events Director
A graduate of Minnesota State University – Mankato, Bev holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in Designs. She brings over 15 years of management, marketing and visual merchandising experience to the JMA event team. Active in her community, Bev has managed and coordinated numerous Minnesota Youth Athletic baseball tournaments and annual school fundraisers. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching the Twins and going to yoga classes.
SUSAN THURSTON-HAMERSKI – Advancement Director
Susan brings more than 30 years of development and marketing experience to JMA. After several years as a journalist, she created distinctive brand identities and messaging, developed corporate and donor relationships, wrote numerous successfully funded grants, and produced multiple events though her leadership roles at St. Olaf College, Carleton College, and the University of Minnesota. With experience in the private sector, she understands the nuances and direction needed in social media and business marketing trends. As a board member of the Illusion Theater, Susan believes in the essential benefit of non-profits and the transformative power of life-long learning and the creative arts. Susan’s work has been published in numerous publications including Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Los Angeles Review.
MORGON MAE SCHULTZ – Communications and Grant Writer
Morgon Mae brings 11 years of communications experience to JMA, including writing, editing, brand voice and marketing content strategy. She has worked in the publishing and technology industries in addition to serving Twin Cities nonprofits Volunteers of America, Dress for Success Twin Cities and University of Minnesota Theatre and Dance. Driven by curiosity, she believes great storytelling can connect and motivate people. Her journalism degree is from the U of M.
Morgon Mae loves Minneapolis so much it kind of hurts, and she gets a huge kick out of subjecting friends and family to her cooking and craft projects.
AMY PERNA – Development Coordinator
Amy brings over 10 years of experience working in both the non-profit and private sectors. She has a passion for public service and serves as an elected board member of the Como Community Council. Amy holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota.
NIKITA POLOVENKO – IT Manager
GRETCHEN MERRITT – Development Manager
For 15 years before joining JMA, Gretchen held numerous roles in the nonprofit sector from executive director to development director. She has experience with fundraising, friendraising, grantsmanship, board development, public relations, leadership development and organizational management. She has worked with national and international nonprofits serving teens, refugees and victims of trafficking. On her days off, Gretchen loves spending time with her family, volunteering with high school students, and sipping on a cold Starbucks beverage!
Caroline Swinford – Development and Events Coordinator