Meet our team of passionate changemakers and find out how they champion our movement in Minnesota.
Elizabeth Garvey manages general office operations and provides administrative support for the advocacy, programming, and community engagement underway at Move Minnesota. Elizabeth brings a background in both corporate and nonprofit administration to her role as Office Manager, and has worked in multiple industries, including higher education, construction, commodities, and the arts. She holds a B.A. in Journalism-Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota. Elizabeth is a visual artist and when she is not in the office she can often be found in the studio. She loves that her home, work, and studio are all conveniently located along the Green Line.
Jennifer Harmening Thiede
Director of Communications and Organizing
Jennifer Harmening Thiede, Director of Communications and Organizing, is passionate about creating a just and sustainable future. Jennifer leads our strategic communications, marketing, and narrative change work at Move Minnesota. She also works collaboratively to plan and advance organizing strategies that build people power and further Move Minnesota’s advocacy goals. Jennifer brings a decade of nonprofit experience in multi-channel communications, editing, writing, advocacy campaigns, media outreach, website management, design, social media, and event planning. Previously, Jennifer worked in marketing, publicity, and sales for Milkweed Editions, and served as an editor and writer for Do It Green! Minnesota. Jennifer holds a B.A. in English from the University of St. Thomas. She loves her bike commute and her walkable neighborhood, and always looks forward to reading a good book on the bus.
Director of Finance and Administration
Linnea House brings fifteen years of experience within the nonprofit community, ranging from direct service to arts to advocacy organizations, to her role as Director of Finance and Administration. In addition to managing the day-to-day finances of the organization, Linnea oversees grants management and provides organizational support to board and staff members. As a former executive director, she has a wealth of experience and expertise in nonprofit management, advocacy and grassroots organizing campaigns, and development. Linnea holds a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies from Saint Olaf College, and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University. As the parent of two active children, she loves living near park trails with easy access to walking, running, and bicycling in Minneapolis.
Finn, a life-long Twin Cities transit rider, is excited to join the Move Minnesota team where they can bridge their lived experiences with years of organizing and advocacy work to effectuate change around multi-model transportation here in Minnesota.
Before joining the team, Finn organized here at home in Minnesota and on the east coast on issues ranging from reproductive rights to clean and safe drinking water. Outside of work, Finn enjoys going to concerts, cooking, and spending quality time with their cats Puck and Moonpie.
Theresa Nelson, Program Manager, specializes in Employer Partnerships and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programming at Move Minnesota. Theresa has over fifteen years of experience with community engagement, coalition building, and pedestrian and bicycle program implementation. She served as a program manager for the Midtown Greenway Coalition for twelve years where she led numerous community engagement programs, projects, and events. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African Studies from the University of Minnesota and began her career in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis as a community organizer and youth program manager. Most recently, she assisted Community Design Group, a local urban planning consulting firm, with community engagement focused on bicycle, pedestrian, and transit projects. Theresa is dedicated to planning and programming that leads to healthy, active, and livable communities. She enjoys daily walks, biking, yoga, and gardening in the summer.
Theresa Thompson Nix
Theresa Thompson Nix, Program Manager, specializes in community engagement programming at Move Minnesota. Her current focus includes building relationships with transit riders, residents, and community partners to create change along the METRO C Line corridor in the Twin Cities. Theresa brings several years of advocacy, planning, community organizing, and campaign management experience to her role. She is active in community conversations about equity, organizational change, and pedestrian safety.
Born and raised in Crystal, MN, Theresa is a member of Black Girls Run Twin Cities and loves going on walks with the crew.
Mark Olivares, Program Coordinator, supports Move Minnesota’s programming initiatives and community engagement efforts. He is enthusiastic about connecting with people, and meeting people where they’re at, to create change. With several years of experience in the youth development field, Mark’s work at Move Minnesota has included helping local teens become youth advocates for their communities and getting them connected with sustainable transportation work. He joined our team from the Kitty Anderson Youth Science Center at the Science Museum of Minnesota, where he was a long-time collaborator with our programming in Saint Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood. In his spare time, Mark creates visual artwork and loves working on graphic design projects.
Sam Rockwell, Executive Director of Move Minnesota, is a long-time advocate for our climate and for social justice. His background in transportation and land use spans organizing and policy and includes work with the University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors, the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the New York City Council, Columbia University’s Earth Institute, the World Wildlife Fund, Transportation Alternatives, and the Environmental Tax Policy Institute. He has also worked as a musician, handyman, and delivery tricycle driver. Sam holds a JD, magna cum laude, from Vermont Law School and is president of the Minneapolis Planning Commission. He lives in the Twin Cities metro with his wife Molly and their three very energetic kids.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Elissa Y. Schufman enjoys building genuine and authentic connections. In her role as Director of Strategic Partnerships, Elissa looks for ways to build lasting and meaningful relationships with foundations and individuals. Her focus is on leveraging our community’s energy and resources to create better transportation choices for everyone in our region.
Elissa has been working in development and communications since 2011, with experience in a broad array of areas, including: relationship building, project management, donor communications, copy writing and grant writing, website design, CRM management, and design. Elissa graduated from DePauw University with a B.A. in English Writing and Spanish Language, and has lived in Spain and Japan.
Elissa is a multimodal commuter who loves exploring her community via bike, bus, train, and on foot. She lives in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis with her partner. She loves books, #bulletjournal, cooking, and harvesting the vegetables she grows in her neighborhood.
Director of Policy and Research
Suzanne Sobotka, Director of Policy and Research, leads Move Minnesota’s work to transform transportation policy and guides research efforts across multiple initiatives to make the case for a transportation system that is fair and just for all. Suzanne brings nearly a decade of legislative and policymaking experience to Move Minnesota, having served in various staff roles at the Minnesota Senate and as the Senior Policy Advisor for transportation and environment for Governor Tim Walz.
Suzanne holds a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology and Master of Arts degree in Health Journalism from the University of Minnesota. As a resident of the West Seventh neighborhood of Saint Paul, she enjoys easy access to transit and active transportation, and looks forward to development of new transit routes and corridors nearby.
Communications and Fundraising Coordinator
Ze Thao implements communications and fundraising strategies that connect people with Move Minnesota’s mission and activities. She creates compelling content—from tweets and blogs to grant reports—and helps ensure our donors and funders know how their generosity makes a difference.
Ze is from the Cleveland Neighborhood of Minneapolis and is a proud Northsider. She began riding transit independently as early as thirteen years old, which allowed her to access after school programs and youth sports. Before joining the team, Ze was an editor and contributor of several publishing projects. She is passionate about storytelling and nurturing the power of real stories to influence big world changes. She attended the University of Minnesota where she studied Communications and Studies in Cinema and Media Culture.
Erik Thompson is a Project Manager at Move Minnesota, where he manages our METRO Green Line initiative and supports Transportation Demand Management policy work and community engagement to advance sustainable transportation. Erik specializes in working in partnership with property managers, renters, developers, and community organizations, as well as Twin Cities colleges and universities. Before joining the Move Minnesota team, Erik spent two years in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, and worked as a Transportation Coordinator at Jefferson Community School in Minneapolis. He holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota.
Meet our Board of Directors: the community leaders, strategic thinkers, movers and shakers guiding our mission.
Sarah Ghandour has over ten years of experience working on planning, urban design, and transportation projects, including six plus years working for the Metropolitan Council on the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project. On the SWLRT project, Sarah serves as the Manager of Design. Prior to moving back to Minnesota in 2012, Sarah lived in Los Angeles and worked on a wide range of community-based planning and urban design projects with a transportation focus. Sarah has a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
Angela Peterson is a proud Saint Paul resident of the West Seventh neighborhood. Angela works as at Andersen Corporation, where her career started in Corporate Communications and later shifted to her current role as a Lean Sigma Black Belt role. In this role, she has worked on a variety of continuous improvement projects from manufacturing efficiency to sustainability to retail. Angela received her Master of Communication Studies from Marquette University and her Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from UW – La Crosse.
Outside of work, Angela likes being active, exploring local restaurants, traveling, cheering on the Minnesota Twins and spending time with her husband, Matt, and their pets. Angela’s interest in Move Minnesota’s mission comes from living as a one car household, a belief in equality for all, a passion for sustainability and time spent living and traveling abroad.
Patrick has spent his career in nonprofit development helping to boost the front line impact of health and social services charities. He also serves on the Bloomington City Council representing the East side’s District 4. Outside of work, Patrick is a board game geek who always appreciates recommendations on new places to hike with his black lab, Rowdy. He is excited to join Move Minnesota in realizing a vision for strong, multi-modal transportation networks enabling people to get where they need to go.
Laura Greteman works as an Inventory Analyst at Quality Bicycle Products. In addition to her primary position as an Analyst, Laura serves as a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Intern Coordinator and contributes to QBP’s Women’s Initiative to increase gender diversity within the bike industry. Laura is a daily multi-modal commuter and is excited to help Move Minnesota advocate for mobility options throughout the state. She is especially passionate about working to make biking a safe and comfortable transportation option for all.
Kim Berggren serves as the Director of Community Development for the City of Brooklyn Park and the Executive Director for the Brooklyn Park Economic Development Authority. In her role, she works to implement Brooklyn Park’s vision of a thriving and inclusive community through the City’s planning, economic development, housing, building, and property maintenance strategies.
Kim has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota. She is a certified Planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners and was certified in economic development and housing finance by the National Development Council. A Minnesota native, Kim also studied biology, business, and geography and started her career in community development working for the cities of Columbia Heights and New Hope.
Michelle Johnson has been a proud Saint Paul resident for the last five years. Originally from Wisconsin, she is smitten with her new city. She had worked in the healthcare industry as a training specialist and medical editor before returning to graduate school at the University of St. Thomas in 2016. At the end of 2019, she completed her J.D. & M.B.A. degrees and will begin work as a corporate attorney with Winthrop and Weinstine, P.A. after completing the bar exam.
Michelle is an avid snowboarder, bicyclist, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. Whether it’s sunny and 80 degrees or mid-winter and below zero, life in Minnesota doesn’t stop, and people need reliable and safe transportation options to be able to participate in the community. Michelle is passionate about working toward better options and better experiences for every member of our community.
Ben Rabe is Director of Built Environment at Fresh Energy, a nonpartisan clean energy advocacy organization. His work focuses on supporting and passing policies that improve energy efficiency related to buildings and the built environment. Before joining Fresh Energy, Ben managed the Energy Smart Program at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce working to help small businesses take advantage of utility rebate programs and worked in the residential energy efficiency space at the Neighborhood Energy Connection. Ben holds an M.A. in International Energy Policy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a B.A .from Macalester College in International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Anthropology. He is also a Certified Energy Manager with the Twin Cities Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers.
Ken Rodgers received his Master of Public Affairs (MPA) from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where he specialized in disability policy. Ken worked for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services at Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) before moving to the Department of Transportation (DOT). At DOT, Ken serves as the Disability Programs Coordinator in the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) and is responsible for ADA Title I issues across the state. Ken serves on the Met Council Transportation Access Advisory Committee (TAAC) and is the chair of the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities (MACOPD). Ken also currently serves on the LRT Blue line extension Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) and formerly served on the Central Corridor (Green line) LRT CAC.
Alex Tsatsoulis is the Development Director at the Lake Street Council, working to support Lake Street’s unique and diverse community. Alex has previously worked at Our Streets Minneapolis (formerly the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition), to support the organization’s transportation advocacy work and Open Streets events. Alex has a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Chicago. His favorite bus line is the 21.
Sevcik Tummala is a public health educator. She teaches undergraduate courses at the University of Minnesota. She also works as an evaluator with TerraLuna Collaborative, a firm whose vision is to weave connections and support change at the intersection of learning, arts, and social justice.
Sevcik first began working with us as a public policy intern in 2008, as part of her Master of Public Health program at the University of Minnesota. She is delighted to be back with the organization in a strategic role, helping to move our mission forward.
Darwin Yasis is a transportation engineer with over 22 years of experience in planning, design, and construction of major transportation projects.
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