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.
BECKY BOLAND – Advancement Director
Becky brings more than 15 years of experience creating and maintaining public-private partnerships with outstanding results and impacts throughout Minneapolis in areas of safety, economic vitality, housing, and transportation while working in both the public and private sectors. In addition to many institutional, private family and corporate foundations, her grant experience includes successful public funding and development applications through the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Metropolitan Council, State of Minnesota Departments of Housing and also Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and the United States Federal Government Offices of Justice and Education. She has extensive project management experience in both commercial and residential development. Becky’s passion is bringing together public and private organizations and communities around common goals; then achieving those intended results through outside of the box thinking, funding, and new collaborations. A long-time volunteer as a City of Minneapolis election official, Becky also volunteers through the children’s council at her church, on various policy committees at Hennepin County Medical Center, and in her daughter’s school. At JMA, Becky manages multiple client accounts and oversees our finance development service area. Becky loves Iris flowers, the Minnesota Twins, and vacations to Hawaii.
NANCY DRIESSEN – Senior Grant Writer
Nancy earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in Journalism/Public Relations and French from the University of St. Thomas and a master’s degree in Liberal Studies/Writing from Hamline University. She has extensive writing and public relations experience as Director of Public Relations at Metropolitan State University and the consulting firm, Weber Shandwick, where she served such clients as Northwest Airlines, Mall of America and other corporate and nonprofit accounts. She also taught in the journalism department at the University of St. Thomas. On her days off, Nancy likes to… “Spend time with my family and travel.” Her favorite food is… Seafood
KEELY HENDRICKSON – Grant Writer
Keely is a graduate of the College of Saint Benedict with degrees in Communication and Nutrition Science. She brings more than five years of experience in grant writing, donor relations, event planning, social media and volunteer management to the JMA team. Since spending 2007-2008 volunteering at El Centro del Muchacho Trabjador in Quito, Ecuador, Keely has put her detail-oriented project management skills to good use by coordinating fundraising events and silent auctions to support the South American school. Most recently, at the Charities Review Council, Keely further developed her marketing and fundraising skills, along with a passion for working with Minnesota’s thriving nonprofit sector. On her days off, Keely likes to… “Spend time with my 10 month old and my husband – most likely jogging along the river, cooking/eating delicious food, riding our bikes, listening to live music, and planning our next big (or little) adventure.” Her favorite food is… Ice cream
KATHLEEN LOHMAR EXEL – Advancement Director
Kathleen brings 14 years of experience in the nonprofit, academic and philanthropy sectors to her work at JMA. Kathleen holds a B.A. in History from Carleton College and a J.D. from the University of St. Thomas; she is also a licensed attorney. Between Carleton and law school she worked in development for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, and after holding staff attorney and visiting professor positions at the St. Thomas Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services she worked in development for Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota for five years. Both development positions required proficiency in project management and annual fund, programmatic, capital campaign and public sector grants. She has a passion for managing events and enjoys everything from small scale special events, such as receptions for special house builds or donor receptions, to large scale signature/annual events. Additionally, since 2000, Kathleen has served on the board of directors of the all-volunteer led Westonka District #277 Foundation, where she participates in the grant making process, helps with the annual solicitations, manages the website and consults on governance issues. On her days off, Kathleen likes to… “Head to Lake Harriet to take a run, play at the park, walk the dog, and enjoy a concert.” Her favorite food is… A good pastry with a hot or iced chai tea
DREW SHERMAN – Web Developer/IT
Drew attended St. Olaf College and studied music. In 2009, he was deployed to Iraq with the US Army where he served as a Supply Sergeant and bass player for one year. After returning home, he formed a successful country band and music promotion business. His innate creativity and technical skills led him into the world of web development, and Drew acquired a passion for building efficient, user-friendly and visually appealing sites. On his days off, Drew likes to “relax, grill, make music, and hang out with my family.” His favorite plants are hops and he enjoys vacation in Alaska.
NANCY SWANHOLM – Development Director – Chief Writer and Communicator
Nancy’s career has been focused in communications for both businesses and nonprofit organizations. Nancy earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in English from the University of Minnesota and has seven years grant writing and development experience. She has written requests to and successfully secured funds from State, County and City sources, as well as from corporate, private and family foundations. Nancy is an active volunteer with the HealthEast Foundation and Girl Scouts of River Valleys. On her days off, Nancy likes to… “Read, walk, cook, and hang out with my family.” Her favorite food is… All things Mexican
RACHEL THOMPSON – Designer/Print, Web, Digital Media
Rachel brings more than 20 years of visual design and art direction experience in broadcast, print and online media. She has a B.A. in Art and Mathematics from Lawrence University and studied Marketing and Business Communications at the University of St. Thomas. She revels in shepherding companies through brand changes, developing new graphic identities for emerging groups and assisting organizations to develop a strong visual presence. In her career, she has developed a new visual and brand identity for KMSP-FOX9, worked with KARE11 on their public health initiatives and online presence, and designed campaigns and event collateral for Twin Cities Public Television. Favorite food: Loves most foods, especially when cooked by others.
SARAH PRICE – Operations & Prospect Manager
Bringing over 12 years of nonprofit experience, Sarah has expertise in prospect development, database management, annual fund and major gift strategy and event management. She has worked at St. Olaf College, Youth Frontiers, Minnesota Children’s Museum and St. David’s Center. Sarah has a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota – Duluth and is a member of the board of directors of the Minnesota chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers in Advancement. On her days off, Sarah likes spending time with her son, family and friends, biking the trails, wogging (walking/jogging), reading, and cooking. She loves blooming peonies, Gopher Women’s Hockey, and vacations in the mountains or at the beach.
MICHELLE BYERS – Human Resources Director
Michelle holds a B.S. in Marketing with a minor in Psychology and Religion and a M.A in Management with Human Resource concentration from Azusa Pacific University, CA. She has extensive experience as an HR Generalists and in Strategic HR Management. Michelle is known for developing strong teams focused on achieving outstanding business results. When she is not working, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband doing DIY home projects, chasing around her very busy toddler, baking, cooking, and crafting. Michelle’s favorite food is homemade soft chocolate chip cookies.
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.
AMY CONNER – Senior Grant Writer
With a professional background in the nonprofit and government sectors, Amy brings over 5 years of development, project management, and communications experience to her role as Senior Grant Writer at JMA. She feels privileged to serve a group of vibrant nonprofit clients through her work. Amy is an honors graduate of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Spanish Studies, and History, and an alumna of the U.S. Fulbright Program in Croatia. On her days off she likes spending time with friends and family, listening to live music (preferably outdoors), thrifting, traveling, and reading. She loves lilacs, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and vacations in Split, Croatia.
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.
Emily graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College with a B.A. in Sociology. She enjoys helping organizations make strategic decisions and develop sustainable funding through diverse streams of revenue. Emily is a creative but pragmatic thinker, passionate about integrating communications and fund development through donor-centered communications. In her time off, she can be found playing viola in a local chamber orchestra, tutoring at the library, exploring Minnesota State parks with her dog and boyfriend, trying new Minneapolis restaurants and breweries, hunting for antiques, cooking, baking, knitting, and binge watching Netflix. In the spring, she loves wildflowers popping up after the snow melt.
BEN NOBLE – Writer
Ben brings 15 years of experience as a professional writer and editor to JMA. He began his career in the sports section on the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2001 before joining the San Diego Union Tribune in 2007 as a general reporter and photojournalist. Since leaving the newspaper business, he has worked primarily in the nonprofit sector as a grant writer and grants manger for both local and national organizations. In his spare time, Ben enjoys reading, playing tennis, taking his dogs on long walks around South Minneapolis and cheering on the Minnesota Twins.
MOLLY HEMES – Development Coordinator and Grant Writer
JESSICA AMEL – Marketing Project Manager
A results driven professional, Jessica has over 10 years’ experience in community engagement, strategic planning, communications and project management. Through her work in both the private sector and with nonprofit organizations, she has expertise in developing a vision, achieving consensus and delivering results. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. On her days off, Jessica enjoys hanging out with her family, cooking and being outdoors. Her favorite food is…anything fresh from the garden!