2019 Summit Breakout Speakers
Don't forget to register to attend the MINN Summit on November 1st to watch our amazing breakout speakers in action.
Rene Momene Otte
Rene, born in the South West Region of Cameroon is the Founder and CEO of MORE ACTION FOR DISABILITY INCLUSION (MADI) Inc, a nonprofit organization whose vision is to reconstruct inclusive communities wherein all persons with disabilities are welcomed, and are able to live independently with hope, dignity and respect. As a Community Inclusion Specialist with over 11 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, he has used his experiences and talents to promote the complete inclusion of ALL persons with disabilities in the development processes of their communities while working with several nonprofit organizations within and outside the USA. Rene holds an LLB Degree in Law from the University of Buea, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations, Humanitarian Action and Sustainable Development from the University of CA FOSCARI in Venise, Italy. His area of expertise and passion centers on grant writing, to be able to increase impact in needy communities and build relationships with potential donors and currently works on projects in inclusive education, humanitarian response, vocational training and employment for person with disabilities.
Ellen Davis, Founding Principal at Future Funding, is a storyteller, grant expert, and fundraising strategist with more than 10 years of experience developing grant programs, strengthening institutional funding strategies, and writing and winning grants. Before launching Future Funding, Ellen was Grants Director at Fox Advancement for three years, where she provided grant writing and grants development support to a diverse portfolio of nonprofit clients. Before that, she spent seven years working in Washington, D.C. for a variety of international development nonprofits, including ABA ROLI, Plan International, and Pact. Ellen has a MA from Georgetown University and a BA from American University. She always has time to bake cake, debate the correct ranking of the Mission Impossible movies, and hear about what fantastic restaurant you just ate in.
Sarah Odde Lynch – Surge Marketing & Communications Chair, Vice Board Chair: Sarah has over 15 years of corporate marketing experience, working on dynamic food and beverage brands such as Land O’Lakes ®, Baileys®, Ketel One®, and most recently V&V Supremo Chihuahua® Cheese. Her experience includes Strategic Planning, Brand Management, New Product Development, and Executive leadership. Sarah enjoys devoting her time as a Marketing Professional in the non-profit space to Surge. She holds a BA from Colorado State University and has a Digital Strategy Certification from Kellogg School of Business.
Amanda Lyons is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School. She teaches and researches on the intersection of poverty, development, and human rights, with a focus on environmental justice and rural communities. Before joining the Human Rights Center in 2016, Amanda led the Americas program for the NGO Franciscans International, participating in the SDG negotiation process and assisting communities to raise their claims before UN human rights mechanisms.
Meredith Kruger Kos
Meredith Kruger Kos connects people, information and resources to address global food and agriculture challenges. She's worked extensively across South East Asia, Southern Africa and Eastern Africa, ensuring smooth operations of multi-million dollar development programs funded by bi-lateral donors, foundations and private corporations. She is currently an Impact Analyst at the General Mills foundation, where she combines her passion of data visualization with food security and agriculture.
Charmagne Campbell-Patton is the Director of Organizational Learning and Evaluation at Utilization-Focused Evaluation. In this role, she supports organizations working for social justice by embedding evaluative thinking across programs and operations. She brings a decade of program design, implementation and evaluation experience to this work, across a range of fields. Charmagne holds a BA in Political Science from Grinnell College and an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University’s School of International Service.
Vandalark R. Patricks
Vandalark Patricks is a renowned Human Rights Defender a mentor to several emerging leaders of his generation, nationally and internationally. He is a staunch campaigner for free speech, protection of human dignity, youth development, and economic empowerment for the poor, abandoned and vulnerable people in society. He was selected as a MINN Fellow in 2016 and has since made significant contributions igniting change and developing leaders. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) with several certificates acquired through leadership training in human rights, leadership development, youth empowerment, governance, public policy and law. Vandalark Patricks Vandalark is a victim of Liberia’s bloody civil war and a former refugee boy, who has devoted his entire life to social justice activism for past fifteen years. He continues to promote community and youth empowerment initiatives in the United States and in his home country, Liberia.
Mark Ritchie serves as President of Global Minnesota. Ritchie served as Minnesota’s elected Secretary of State from 2007 until 2015 and founded and helps lead Minnesota’s bid to bring the 2027 World Expo to Bloomington focused on the United Nation’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development related to health.
Curtis Klotz Curtis Klotz, CPA, serves as Director of Nonprofit Innovation at CLA. This role is grounded in CLA’s nonprofit consulting and business operations practice, which inspires Curt’s writing and thought leadership in the industry. Curt shares inventive strategies for nonprofits that have emerged from more than 30 years of direct work in nonprofit organizations, including his former role as VP of Finance & CFO at Propel Nonprofits. Along with other stints as a nonprofit CFO, he is also past Chairperson of the Montana Nonprofit Association. Curt has contributed a number of articles to Nonprofit Quarterly and is the principal author of CLA’s Innovation in Nonprofit Finance blog. Curt was honored as MSP Biz Journal’s Nonprofit CFO of the Year in 2017. To fully appreciate Curt’s approach to nonprofit finance, you should know that he graduated summa cum laude from St Olaf College with majors in women’s studies and religion.
Deirdre has 14 years of experience in public accounting and works exclusively in the nonprofit area. Deirdre leads the global services initiative for the Public Sector Group and is a member of the firm’s Young Executive Team.
Megan Voorhees is Director of Acara, an interdisciplinary leadership program at the University of Minnesota for students interested in designing and implementing innovative solutions to address local and global grand challenges. Megan is also Affiliate Faculty at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Megan’s career has primarily focused on leading interdisciplinary campus-community higher education partnerships that provided engaged scholarship and leadership opportunities for students and faculty seeking to address complex social and environmental issues. She was the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Public Service Center at the University of California, Berkeley and the Community Service Coordinator for Lewis & Clark College. She also has led youth development and youth employment programs in the non-profit sector.
Jane Reilly is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Stillpoint Engage. Jane is a psychotherapist, researcher, faculty member for The Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington D.C., and a PhD candidate in Psychology & Humanistic Studies at Saybrook University in San Francisco, CA. For more than two decades, she has specialized in the area of trauma healing, often post-conflict and post-disaster. In her role as a leader, Jane strives to inspire and strengthen communities and individuals around the globe through commitment to stewardship, in service to humanity. She was recently honored with the Excellence in Integrative Health/Trauma Healing award at the 2019 Annual African Mental Health Summit.