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Our Team

Meet our team of passionate changemakers and find out how they champion our movement in Minnesota.

Elizabeth Garvey

Office Manager

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

Jennifer Harmening Thiede, Director of Communications, is passionate about creating a just and sustainable future. Jennifer leads our strategic communications, marketing, and narrative change work at Move Minnesota. As a member of Move Minnesota’s leadership team, she also works collaboratively to advance advocacy campaigns and organizational strategies that build people power and help us achieve our long-term goals. Jennifer brings over fifteen years 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 earned 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.

Julie Johnson

Senior Community Organizer

Julie, a Senior Community Organizer at Move Minnesota, is excited to work with a team so focused on the essential intersectionality of the environmental movement. As a lifelong biker and runner, she is passionate about improving the accessibility and efficiency of multi-modal transportation in the Twin Cities. Before coming to Move Minnesota, Julie organized in Arizona, South Carolina, and Iowa around protecting the National Wildlife Refuge and promoting clean energy legislation. She also worked with MN350’s Communications team during the 2020 election season. She is a Green Corps graduate and holds a B.A. in Psychology and Environmental Studies from St. Olaf College. When she isn’t organizing, she enjoys running, biking, and spending time with friends and family.

Heejin Kim

Fundraising Coordinator

Heejin Kim is a fundraising coordinator at Move Minnesota who has loved biking and bussing around the Twin Cities for over twenty-five years and counting. With a background in education, art, and organizing, Heejin has a lot of experience in development and event planning. She knows that dynamic and affordable transit options are an essential component in the bigger picture of ‘what justice can look like’ for our communities. For fun Heejin prioritizes chill times with her family and raucous game nights with her friends. She’s currently writing her first picture book on climate change.

Theresa Nelson

Program Director

Theresa Nelson, Program Director, 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.

Abdinasir Nourkadi

Community Organizer

Abdinasir Nourkadi, Community Organizer, is particularly dedicated to public service; he has spent a few years on efforts to provide and care for people experiencing homeless and poverty. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Nas’ first post-grad work has found him with Move Minnesota continuing his passion for the community around him. Outside of work, he finds himself binging horror movies with his friends or expressing himself through his camera lens.

Theresa Thompson Nix

Program Manager

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.

Sam Rockwell

Executive Director

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 former president of the Minneapolis Planning Commission. He lives in the Twin Cities metro with his wife Molly and their three very energetic kids.

Elissa Schufman

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Elissa Y. Schufman, Director of Strategic Partnerships, is focused building relationships and gathering resources that can make our vision of a more just transportation system into reality. She enjoys building authentic connections, creating community among advocates, and organizing with donors to create even bigger opportunities for change.

Elissa has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector in a broad array of areas, including project management, communications, donor organizing, and foundation relations. She brings her commitment to transportation justice to her volunteer service as the chair of the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee and on the board of Our Streets Minneapolis.

Elissa is a multimodal commuter who enjoys exploring Minneapolis and Saint Paul on bike, bus, train, and foot. She loves to expand her imagination through reading. When not bicycling or reading, she ferments whatever foods are in season (sometimes with mixed results).

Max Singer

Mobility Coordinator

Max Singer is a Mobility Coordinator at Move Minnesota. Through his work with local employers and other key stakeholders, Max promotes transit, telework, carshare, biking, and walking in the City of Saint Paul. He practices what he promotes and is proud to be described by his friends as “a person about town.”

Leah Sweet

Associate Director

Leah Sweet, Associate Director, comes to Move Minnesota after 13 years as a nonprofit consultant leading and managing professional and trade associations representing a diversity of industries. Prior to her work with associations, Leah spent more than 15 years serving nonprofit sectors in Colorado, Arizona, and in her home state of Minnesota in program development and management, advocacy, education, and policy. As a previous executive director, Leah is thrilled to apply her experience, collaborative approach, organizational acumen, and strategic thinking to the Move Minnesota team.

Leah lives in Minneapolis with her family and enjoys teaching POUND classes at various venues around the Twin Cities. She is a Hennepin County Community Recycling Ambassador who enjoys volunteering at Fixit Clinics and helping communities improve their waste reduction and recycling practices. Leah received her BA, summa cum laude from the College of St. Benedict and her MA from St. Mary’s University.

Our Board

Meet our Board of Directors: the community leaders, strategic thinkers, movers and shakers guiding our mission. Here’s how to join.

Laura Greteman

Board Chair

Laura Greteman works as a Planner on the Arterial Bus Rapid Transit team at Metro Transit. Laura is a daily multi-modal commuter and is excited to help Move Minnesota advocate for mobility options throughout the state. She is passionate about mobility justice and working to make transportation affordable, easy, and fun.

Eric Moran

Vice Chair

Eric Moran has been an environmental advocate their entire life, starting with Boy Scouting. They have been an IT professional for over 20 years that has focused primarily in the public sector. They live in North Minneapolis with their spouse and daughter, and Eric’s daughter prefers commuting by bike everywhere year-round. Current favorite transit route is the 19/C Line. Eric has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Bethel University and works for Hennepin County managing Microsoft Cloud services.

Alex Tsatsoulis

Board Treasurer

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.

Angela Peterson

Board Secretary

Angela Peterson lives in Stillwater with her husband and two small children. Angela works for Center for Energy and Environment as the Codes Program Manager, leading work around achieving the Minnesota state goal for reaching net zero commercial new construction by 2036. In previous roles, Angela has worked in process improvement, sustainable manufacturing, and communications. 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 spends a lot of time exploring outside with her family, spending time with friends, and cheering on the Minnesota Twins. Angela’s interest in Move Minnesota’s mission comes from a belief in equity for all, a passion for sustainability, and time spent living and traveling abroad.

Griffin Brod

Board Member

Griffin Brod studies Environmental Science, Policy, Law, and Land Management (ESPM) at the University of Minnesota. With a passion for environmental policy issues, Griffin also serves on a board for the city council in his hometown of Stillwater, MN, working to implement a climate action plan to save energy and reduce overall emissions for the city. Studying abroad in Ísafjörður, Iceland in 2022 and learning about implementing sustainable agricultural practices in the Fjords was a defining moment in his education. After graduation, Griffin wants to help people shift toward more sustainable agricultural/energy practices through advocacy and consultancy. Today, Griffin describes himself a gardener, musician, student, and sustainable chef that is involved in his community and wishes for a cleaner future for all!

Alma Flores

Board Member

Alma Flores is a seasoned housing, community, and economic development professional focused on leveling the playing field for marginalized communities. For over 18 years, she has been a public servant in Oregon, Massachusetts, and most recently in Minnesota in equitable transit-oriented development, economic policy development, downtown revitalization, commercial corridor development strategies, economic and housing strategic planning development, and land use policies. For over 4 years, prior to moving to Minnesota, Alma worked as an affordable housing developer in Oregon and Washington. Since March 2023, Alma has been the Community Development Director for the City of Golden Valley. Alma is a staunch advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and grassroots community engagement that help improve and inform policy development. Alma firmly believes that strategies must be tailored to reflect the intentions and needs of a community—no cookie cutter approaches!

Alma was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and is a graduate of MITs master’s in city planning with a focus on Housing, Community, and Economic Development. Alma holds her BA from UCLA where she studied immigration history and the Chicano/a movements. Alma is married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother to a 20- and 24-year-old. She is excited to be on the board of Move Minnesota given the importance of equitable access to transportation options for all walks of life.

Sam Kavalier

Board Member

Sam Kavalier is a Minneapolis-based attorney at the firm of Ogden Glazer + Schaefer. Sam’s work as an attorney focuses on helping small businesses, startups, artists, and non-profits unlock their potential through meeting their legal goals in the fields of intellectual property, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and food and beverage regulatory matters. Prior to his career as an attorney, Sam worked in the tech industry, primarily in quality assurance and regulatory compliance. He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D.), as well as the University of Michigan (B.A. Political Science and German).

Outside of work, Sam enjoys being outdoors, particularly hiking and biking (his preferred form of transportation). He also delights in spending time with his wife and daughters. Sam joined Move Minnesota to channel his passion for biking and improving car-free transit options within the Twin Cities.

Alyssa Keil

Board Member

Alyssa Keil has spent her career working in nonprofits focused on financial and housing security. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of the Housing Choice Voucher program at Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. After growing up in Colorado and completing her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Denver, she moved to New York City, where she lived for 8 years before moving to Minnesota in 2022. Her time in New York City is when Alyssa grew to love the car-free lifestyle.

She is proud of the public transit options already available in her new city, and excited to support the work of Move Minnesota in making transit, biking, walking, and rolling more accessible for all Minnesotans. Outside of work, Alyssa enjoys trying new restaurants, reading, and tackling DIY home decor projects. She is also a caretaker for her father who uses a wheelchair and depends on Metro Mobility and pedestrian-safe sidewalks and streets to get around. Alyssa lives in Saint Paul with her free-roam rabbit, Lavender.

Sasha Lewis-Norelle

Board Member

Sasha Lewis-Norelle is a young environmental activist and organizer, living in Minneapolis. He currently works at the environmental non-profit Clean Water Action Minnesota, as the Environmental Health and Justice Organizer. In 2021, he graduated from Macalester College with a degree in environmental studies and concentration in biology. He first got his start in environmental organizing through his school’s divestment campaign, pushing for the institution to stop investing in fossil fuels. Since then, he has been involved in a number of movements, such as the Sunrise Movement, the movement to Stop Line 3, and the continuous movement for environmental justice. He uses public transit as his main way of getting around, and has a strong passion for creating low carbon, equitable transit systems. Outside of organizing, he enjoys going for long walks, watching anime, and playing music.

John Elliot Schmit

Board Member

John Elliot Schmit’s interest in transportation and urbanism sparked and grew while living car-free in Copenhagen for five years. In the cycling industry, he explored the differences that are possible in prioritizing people-first transportation options. John is currently a carpenter/remodeler with a passion for ADUs. John lives in a three-generation household in White Bear Lake.

Jem Thompson

Board Member

Jem Thompson is a graduate student in the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Minnesota where he is concentrating on the intersection of land-use, urban design, and sustainable transportation systems. In addition to his studies, Jem is also a graduate research assistant with the Accessibility Observatory within the Center For Transportation Studies. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Jem worked at the active transportation firm Bikes Make Life Better, where he helped private companies and developers to plan active transportation infrastructure and shared micro-mobility systems in the San Francisco bay area.

In his free time Jem loves to travel within the United States and internationally, having explored over 30 countries to date. From weeklong trips by train across Siberia to biking from Florida to California, Jem is always looking for ways to combine his love of travel and passion for multi-modal transportation. While living in the Netherlands Jem witnessed how systems and policies could be crafted to provide plentiful transportation options and prioritize people over motor-vehicles. The stark contrast between the Dutch and the United States was the impetus for a career change, which led Jem to the field of urban planning and design. Jem hopes to bring this international perspective on transportation policy, infrastructure, and programs to the board of Move Minnesota to help promote equitable and sustainable transportation for all.

Darwin Yasis

Board Member

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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