Management and Structure

NAZ manages with multiple levels of leadership, including NAZ Board of Directors, collaborative partner leadership, our parent leaders, and NAZ Central leadership staff.

NAZ Leadership Staff

Sondra Samuels, President and Chief Executive Officer (Founding Leader) (biography)
Karen Kelley-Ariwoola, Chief Operating Officer (biography)
Karen Casanova, Chief Development Officer (biography)
Candra Bennett, Vice President of Human Resources and Operations (biography)
Andre Dukes, Senior Director, Collective Impact – Early Childhood (biography)
Michelle Palo, Senior Director, Collaborative Learning (biography)
Michele Pletcher, Senior Finance and Data Innovation Director (biography)
Erica Gates, Chief of Staff
Danielle Bylund, Director of Marketing and Communications
Amy Susman-Stillman, Director of Evaluation
Robert Droddy, Director of Individual Giving
Jaton White, Director of Community Wellness
Tiffany Wilson-Worsely, Family Achievement Program Director (biography)

NAZ Board of Directors

Board Officers

BOARD CHAIR, Deb Burke, SVP, West Region Leader – State & Local Government Relations and Public Policy, Wells Fargo
VICE CHAIR, Arthur J. Rolnick, Senior Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
TREASURER, Peter Kellenberger, Finance Committee Chair, Managing Director, PNC Corporate Banking
SECRETARY, Anne Long, Governance Chair, Executive Director, Plymouth Christian Youth Center

Tawanna Black, CEO, Center for Economic Inclusion
Tom Borman, Of Counsel, Maslon L.L.P.
Michael Ciresi, Founding Partner, Ciresi Conlin L.L.P.
Earl Ellis, SVP of Finance, Multi-channel, Services and Procurement, Best Buy Corporation
Kim Ellison, Chair, Minneapolis School Board
Jacob Frey, Mayor of Minneapolis
Annie Gillette Cleveland, Owner, Extra Paddle Consulting
Karen Grabow, Retired SVP, Business Development Services and Chief Human Resource Officer, Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Dianne Haulcy, Senior VP of Family Engagement, Think Small
David Hough, County Administrator, Hennepin County
Paul Johnston, EVP/Chief External Engagement Officer, Thrivent
Miesha Lewis, Parent Representative, Massage by Miesha
Tim Manning, Development Committee Chair, Corporate Counsel, SunOpta, Inc.
Geoff Martha, President, Medtronic
Ann Masten, Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
Patty Murphy, NAZ Investment Campaign Chair
Kim Nelson, Retired SVP of External Relations; Retired President, General Mills Foundation, General Mills
R.T. Rybak, CEO & President, Minneapolis Foundation
Chad Schwitters, Executive Director, Urban Homeworks
Brian Taylor, Founding Partner & CEO, Pine River Capital Management
Dr. Michelle J. Walker-Davis- Executive Director, DC Public Charter School Board
Laysha Ward, EVP/Chief External Engagement Officer, Target Corporation
Karen Wilson Thissen, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Ameriprise

Parent Advisory Board Members

Ethrophic Burnett
Nancy Burns
Tamara Campbell
Ogi Carter
Charise Curry
Nichole Flowers
Marquita Haynes
Dominique Mays
Calahena Merrick
Taya Morgan
Gregory Wheeler

NAZ Executive Leaders

Yusuf Abdullah, Principal, Patrick Henry High School
Randa Ayoub, Beacons Center Director, YMCA Beacons
Sarah Beraki, VP of Talent & Culture/Co-Interim Executive Director, KIPP North Star – Minnesota
Sylvia Beevas, School Leader, Mastery School
Suzanne E. Burks, Executive Director, Phyllis Wheatley Community Center
Alika Galloway, Executive Director, 21st Century Academy
Molly Greenman, President & CEO, The Family Partnership
Dianne Haulcy, Sr. VP of Family Engagement, Think Small
Anne Long, Executive Director, Plymouth Christian Youth Center
Amy Luehmann, Principal, Nellie Stone Johnson School
Benito Matias,  Principal, Ascension Catholic School
Jeb Myers, President, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
Laurie Ohmann, EVP/Chief Operating Officer, Northside Child Development Center
Brooke Rivers, Executive Director, Reading Partners
Clare Sanford, Director of Government & Community Relations, New Horizon Academy
Maureen Siewert, Executive Director of Early Childhood Education, Minneapolis Public Schools
Phyllis Sloan, Executive Director, La Creche Early Childhood Center
Audrey Suker,  Executive Director, ServeMN