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)
Tanisha Bradford, Vice President of Heart Resources (biography)
Andre Dukes, Vice President, Family and Community Impact (biography)
Michele Pletcher, Vice President, Finance (biography)
Michelle Palo, Senior Director, Collaborative Learning (biography)
Erica Gates, Chief of Staff
Robert Droddy, Director of Individual Giving
Bianca JonesFoundations & Corporate Relations Officer
Arielle Handevidt, Director of Early Childhood Education
Kalin LeBrun, Director of Communications and Marketing
Amy Susman-Stillman, Director of Evaluation
Jaton White, Director of Community Wellness

NAZ Board of Directors

Board Officers

Board Chair, Deb Burke, Senior Government Relations Consultant, Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions
Vice-Chair, Dianne Haulcy^, Senior VP Family Engagement, Think Small
Treasurer, Peter Kellenberger+, Managing Director, PNC Corporate Banking
Secretary, Karen Wilson Thissen°, EVP & General Counsel, Ameriprise Financial


Ziad Amra, Chief Administrative Officer, U.S. Bancorp
Tom Borman, Of Counsel, Maslon L.L.P.
Michael Ciresi, Founding Partner, Ciresi Conlin L.L.P.
Annie Gillette Cleveland, VP, Communications & Marketing Strategy, MCAD
Jacob Frey, Mayor, City of Minneapolis
Kirsten Gorsuch, Chief Communications Officer, UnitedHealthcare
Karen Grabow, Executive Consultant, Navigate Forward
Amelia Williams Hardy, VP, Strategic Community Engagement & External Partnerships, Best Buy
David Hough, County Administrator, Hennepin County
Paul Johnston, EVP, Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel, Thrivent
Al Lenzmeier, Retired, President & Chief Operating Officer, Best Buy
Miesha Lewis, Parent Representative
Anne Long, Retired, Executive Director, Plymouth Christian Youth Center
Tim Manning* , Senior Corporate Counsel, SunOpta
Geoff Martha, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic
Ann Masten, Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
Dominique Mays, Parent Representative
Kim Nelson, Retired, SVP, External Relations, General Mills
Arthur Rolnick, Senior Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Brian Taylor, Founding Partner & Chief Executive Officer, Pine River Capital Management
Laysha Ward, EVP & Chief External Engagement Officer, Target
Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, Executive Director, Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center

* Development Chair
+ Finance Chair
° Governance Chair
^ Impact Chair

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