Board of Directors

Our all-volunteer Board of Directors meets monthly to ensure the organization is operating smoothly. We are grateful for the expertise they share with Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless!

In addition to the following board members, appreciation goes to Ed Retka, Board Members Emeritus, Michael Fratto, Daniel DuHamel, Jessica Koenig, Susan Milnar, Kate Moen, Matt Pellowski, Jake Peterson, Lynn Sando, Chris Yates, and Katherine Vo for their years of service with Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless.



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Derek joined the Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless (OYH) Board of Directors in February of 2015 and enjoys working with an amazing organization that shares his vision for the community. He became familiar with OYH while working at Our Saviour’s Community Services, an organization that serves homeless adults in Hennepin County. Presently, he is a Project Specialist at Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis for the Data, Analysis, Research and Technology (Dart) Team.

Derek holds a BA from University Of North Dakota with concentrations in Political Science, Nonprofit Leadership and Philosophy, MA in Psychology and MA in Project Management. He brings a strong passion and a moral belief that communities must ensure everyone has fair access to housing and food.

Derek and his wife live in Southwest Minneapolis.

In addition to offering important legal, business, and professional insight to the Board, Jake brings a deep motivation for helping less fortunate people secure basic resources like food and housing.


Vice President

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Sabrina recently joined the board of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless in December of 2018. Sabrina is committed to serving her community in a meaningful and tangible way and is excited to pursue that passion in partnership with OYH. Sabrina obtained her BA in Political Science from Seattle Pacific University and went on to earn her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in 2011. She currently works as an attorney at the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.



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Amy Olson has worked at the University of Minnesota for almost 30 years and during that time she came to know Open Your Heart as a volunteer and some time paid staff member of the University’s Charitable Fund Drive. She served as a member of OYH’s Inaugural Board of Directors and has enthusiastically rejoined in an effort to address the issues of hunger and homelessness that continue to grow throughout Minnesota. She believes that these are basic needs of every human in our society and they must be met before we work toward achieving other goals. Amy holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and after graduating she was recruited by the University where she has served as an administrator of programs, conferences and events. She is currently a Coordinator for Continuing Medical Education in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in the U’s Medical School. Amy and her sister live in Roseville along with their two cats.



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Roger Henry has served on the board of directors of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless from 1991 through 2010. After working for 33 years in the finance industry Roger has retired and welcomes the opportunity to rejoin the board. He can now focus his passion full time to working on the issues of hunger, homelessness, and his golf swing! As a lifelong fixer upper, he has worked on many Habitat for Humanity houses, both in the metro area, and in Jamaica. Roger is currently the Executive Director of the Foundation of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.



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Angela is a Quality Improvement Specialist with Nexus Youth and Family Services. She spent four years working within Child Welfare in New York City before returning back to Minnesota.

Angela holds a Master of Public Policy in Nonprofit Leadership from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota as well as a BA from the University of St Thomas in Business Communication. She lives in South Minneapolis with her family.



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Jessica Bigirindavyi has been on the Board of Open Your Heart since 2016. She is a part of the FDO committee team which plans fun events with community partners. Jessica attended and graduated from St. Cloud State University. When she isn’t doing things with OYH, she enjoys traveling, being apart of young professional organizations, and attending events in the Twin Cities.



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Eugene Bryskin is a real estate developer and a graduate from the University of Minnesota, Institute of Technology. With two undergraduate degrees in Math and Computer Science and ten years of experience, Eugene makes a great addition to the Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Board. Eugene was first introduced to Open Your Heart by fellow board member, Christopher Danos, at a fundraising event six years ago. Upon returning to the Midwest, Eugene decided to volunteer his time and skills to help individuals in need.



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David joined the board of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless in 2019. He grew up in Atlanta, and after attending graduate school in Michigan, moved to Minneapolis in 2013. He currently works in the financial services industry, and lives in downtown Minneapolis with his two daughters. David loves the work of OYH and their attempt to provide access to food and shelter for the most needy in our communities.



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Susan joined the board in 2015 and is honored to be part of such a vibrant organization. She is a CPA, (inactive) with a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Susan is currently volunteering with several organizations and is looking forward to utilizing her skills to aid those in need of food and shelter. She and her husband currently live in Plymouth, MN.



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Born in a small town in Northwest MN. Dropped out of school at 16 left home and never really went back. John traveled extensively throughout the US, hitchhiking at first and then he took a ride on a freight train and fell in love with trains and started riding freight throughout the country experiencing homelessness.

9 and 1/2 years ago he sobered up and settled down in St Paul. A little over 3 years ago while speaking for Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, he met his friend and co- author David who helped him write a book called, Homeless is Not Hopeless which is available on Amazon. He got to fulfill a dream writing this book. “Homeless is Not Hopeless has taken me places I never dreamed possible.” John speaks on occasion to different groups from high school kids and up. John is currently working for SPM LLC landscaping and snow removal and lives in Inver Grove Heights with his wonderful girlfriend Dawn and their loving cat Gabby.



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Over her thirty-five year career, Hartmann has created and nurtured partnerships among government, business, philanthropic and community organizations to address community needs. She was the co-founder and Executive Director of New Foundations, a seventeen year old organization, providing housing and comprehensive services for homeless families.

Prior to founding New Foundations, she served as the Executive Director of Wayside House, a chemical dependency treatment program for women, where she developed the State’s first permanent supportive housing program for homeless women and children in recovery. She is the former Executive Director of the St. Paul YWCA, Hennepin County Affirmative Action Programs, and the Minneapolis Head Start Program.

She is a member of the National, State and Local Coalitions for the Homeless; The Governor’s Council on ending Long-Term Homelessness, Founding member of National Building Better Communities Association; and the Family Supportive Housing Providers Group. She is a national and local speaker and presenter, on the issues homelessness among families and children, including Congress, the President’s Roundtable, Washington D.C., Supportive Housing Conferences, universities and government entities. She is a recipient of the Ann Bancroft Award, a graduate of the University of St. Catherine, and a consultant for nonprofits, foundations, educational, and governmental organizations.



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Katy is a project manager at United Healthcare. She received a MBA from Hamline University and a BA in Social Work, Sociology, and American Sign Language from the University of Minnesota. She participated in the Service Learning House as a freshman and has volunteered in various capacities since. Katy was interested in serving on a Board again and knew that Open Your Heart was the perfect choice.



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Attending an Open Your Heart community event inspired Paul to seek out ways he could volunteer. “I was very impressed with the passion and dedication of the staff and Board Members and immediately knew that I should be a part of such a worthwhile organization.” For the past 30 years, Paul has held sales and marketing positions with various software companies, and is currently working for Silicon Valley startup Platfora. He and his wife Judy recently moved to Downtown Minneapolis.



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Jodi Schoh is the Controller for Culligan Soft Water Service Company in Minnetonka, MN. Jodi received her B. A. in Accounting and Finance from Winona State University and has a MBA from the University of Minnesota. After serving 10 years on the Board of Directors at OYH, Jodi is excited to return for her second board term to serve the mission that everyone is free from hunger and homelessness.



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Grace is a financial analyst at 3M. She received her BS from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in 2015 majoring in Finance and International Business. Upon moving to Minneapolis she volunteered at Free Arts Minnesota for a few years before joining OYH’s board. When she isn’t busy with OYH, she enjoys traveling abroad, backpacking through National Parks, yoga, and visiting all the new restaurants within Minneapolis.

Join OYH’S Board of Directors

Open Your Heart has three staff and a board of 13-21 members. This is a working board, where all board members are engaged in the agency’s work in order to accomplish the mission. The board is not solely focused on agency governance. Board members attend bi-monthly board and committee meetings, dedicating at least 5 hours per month.

Give Where The Need is Greatest


122 Franklin Avenue West
Suite 610
Minneapolis, MN 55404
[email protected]

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