Staff and Board

Management Team

Michael Huffman

Michael Huffman

Executive Director

mike@oscs-mn.org | 612.871.5900 x1

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Mike joined OSCS as executive director in October 2021. He is thrilled to lead such a strong team of staff and programs that make a positive impact in the community. As executive director, he seeks to listen more than he speaks and sees his role as empowering staff to do their job to the best of their abilities. He knows through his own experiences that nonprofit work is hard, and employees are at the heart of our work. He champions appreciating and valuing staff because it increases our capacity to fulfill our mission. Mike also loves pushing the envelope, thinking about systemic gaps in our community and how we can creatively meet needs. We are always challenged to find new ways to educate and house our neighbors, and OSCS wants to lead the way.

Mike brings over a decade of experience in nonprofit work, most recently as Director of Outreach and Shelter at St. Stephen’s Human Services. He spent two years in the Peace Corps as a community health educator in the Saharan desert in Morocco and holds a BA in sociology from the University of Minnesota. Mike lives in NE Minneapolis with his wife Jana, two children, and numerous pets.

La'Quadra Neal

La'Quadra Neal

OSH Program Director

laquadra@oshousing.org | 763.347.1896

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Ask La’Quadra why she chooses to work with individuals experiencing homelessness, and she’ll tell you that the work chose her. After volunteering in multiple homeless shelters, she realized that this is the field where she is supposed be. She believes it’s important to use her skills, privileges, and voice to advocate for those who are marginalized and wishes that others understood the road blocks many face in finding affordable housing.

La’Quadra has worked in human services since graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2014. She joined OSH as Shelter Manager in October, 2017 and became Program Director in 2021.

Cassie Nelson

Cassie Nelson

Emergency Shelter Manager

cassie@oshousing.org | 651.334.2991

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Cassie is passionate about working with adults experiencing homelessness because she has been where they are and wants them to succeed. She loves seeing the happiness when a resident accomplishes any goal, giving them confidence to continue on until they are happy and independently housed. She wishes others understood that life can happen to anyone, and when it does you still deserve a chance to get back on your feet. It takes a whole community contributing donations, time, and resources to make that happen.

Cassie began her career working in homeless services as front desk staff at Our Saviour’s Emergency Shelter in 2015. Since then, she’s grown with the organization, becoming a Permanent Supportive Housing Case Manager in 2017 and Emergency Shelter Manager in 2021. She’s gained so much hands-on experience working at OSH and is excited to step into this newest role.

Kate Ronald

Kate Ronald

ELC Program Director

kate@englishlc.org | 612.874.9963 x4

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Kate enjoys all aspects of adult basic education and running a community-based ESL program. She’s always impressed by how adult students prioritize learning in their busy lives.

Kate graduated from Earlham College with a B.A. in Peace and Global Studies and is a licensed adult basic education teacher. After starting in adult ESL over 30 years ago, Kate got side tracked by a corporate career at Best Buy before getting back into education as a classroom volunteer, teacher, and program director at VOA Adult High School in the Seward neighborhood for 12 years. She joined the ELC in March 2021 and is thrilled to be part of this community, serving learners, volunteers, and staff.

Liz Rowe

Liz Rowe

Finance Manager

books@oscs-mn.org | 612.871.5900 x2

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As finance manager, Liz tracks every penny in and out of OSCS. Believing that employees are the organization’s most important assets, she works to create an environment in which people are motivated, contributing, and fulfilled. Although Liz doesn’t work directly with students or residents, she’s motivated by knowing she’s making a difference in people’s lives. With an educational background in culture and language, she also loves seeing (and hearing) the variety of people that OSCS serves.

Liz came to OSCS in May 2006 with a B.A. in anthropology and French and six years of experience working in law firms. Good at math and detail-oriented, she began as the organization’s bookkeeper. As OSCS grew, she returned to school and received a B.S. in accounting, followed by a M.S. in accounting with a focus on nonprofits.

Tim Reinardy

Tim Reinardy

Permanent Supportive Housing Program Manager

tim@oshousing.org | 612-876-6604

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Tim comes to this work in pursuit of “Housing for All.” He believes in the universal right to housing and wishes people had the chance to know our residents’ stories. He often hears people who have been successful in housing comment “I wish someone would subsidize my rent” but hasn’t found a single person willing to trade places or hardships with our residents. Not a day goes by where Tim isn’t grateful or amazed by what he sees from his peers and community members. He’s also learned that he’s a relatively skilled U-Haul truck driver and it pays dividends to have coworkers that are great cooks!

Tim holds a B.A. in Geography from the University of Minnesota – Duluth, where he completed his thesis on a student housing conflict in the city of Duluth. He came to OSH as a volunteer about eight years ago and loved it so much that he decided he needed to commit to working full-time for the organization.

Renate Willer

Renate Willer

Operations Manager

renate@oshousing.org | 651.336.5549

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Renate has served in a number of different positions at OSCS since 2014. She was initially drawn to do housing case management because she saw how most of the structural deficiencies in society intersect with homelessness. She wishes people understood that the problem is systemic and deeply rooted in intergenerational poverty, historic racism, a punitive criminal justice system, and a lack of understanding of mental health. She has stayed at OSCS because of the reflective and deliberate care OSCS gives to its clients and staff. Renate takes particular pleasure in witnessing the excitement among students in the English Learning Center. In her current role, Renate is eager to capture institutional knowledge and craft systems that will serve the entire organization more effectively. Renate came to OSCS with a degree in political science and a minor in economics from Gustavus Adolphus College. She previously worked on marijuana decriminalization in D.C.

Julie Ann Uttley

Julie Ann Uttley

Human Resources Manager

hr@oscs-mn.org | 612-843-3609

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Julie Ann is the youngest of 5 siblings that grew up on a small rice farm in the Philippines. By the age of 9, she already knew the importance of hard work and making a living to survive. She also realized that having a supportive community in times of need is very beneficial. Julie Ann grew up in a hospitable and compassionate culture which gave her a desire to pursue working for non-profit organizations. Julie Ann found that at OSCS, she can continue to help people achieve something they never thought possible. Julie Ann is dedicated to finding the right people and assisting everyone to become compassionate, influential, and transformational leaders.

Julie Ann finished a Business Administration degree in 2003 from Lyceum of the Philippines University and has worked for large international corporations for 19 years. She migrated to the US in 2008 and has worked in operations before transitioning to Human Resources in 2019. In 2021 she earned a Human Resources and Organizational Leadership degree from Rasmussen University, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

Communications and Development

Breanna Corder

Breanna Corder

Development Associate

breanna@oscs-mn.org | 612.871.5900 x8

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Breanna began her role as Development Associate in December 2021. She splits her time between tracking and reporting grants, communicating with donors, and managing the donor database system. If you have a question about a donation or need to change your address, Breanna can help you with that! She loves knowing she’s making a difference in people’s lives and hopes that one day everyone is as compassionate towards people who are experiencing homelessness as any other human being.

Breanna earned her B.A. in psychology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in December 2020. While completing her degree, she volunteered at Asian Women United of Minnesota (a women’s shelter for survivors of domestic violence) and Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment.

Inora Pradhan

Inora Pradhan

Grants Specialist

inora@oscs-mn.org | 612.843.3653

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Inora earned her Master’s degree in Public and Nonprofit leadership from Metropolitan State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology major. She has worked with diverse populations such as victims of sexual abuse, special needs, immigrants, and refugees working one-on-one and in a team. She joined OSCS in 2021 and transitioned from her role as a part-time ELC Volunteer Coordinator to the full-time OSCS Grants Specialist in 2022. In addition to her experience in the ELC, she also has provided grant writing support to another organization as a volunteer. She brings a wealth of knowledge about the nonprofit sector to this role, as well as a passion for research, networking, and writing.
Robin Stramp

Robin Stramp

Development and Communications Manager

robin@oscs-mn.org | 612.843.3602

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Robin (she/her) joined Our Saviour’s Community Services in the spring of 2022. As Development and Communications Manager, she gets to help people connect their interests and capacities with opportunities to help build the systems, communities, and future they want to live within. She likes getting to learn how supporters first connected with OSCS, and why they continue to invest in the organization. She also loves getting to talk to residents and students – not just about their experiences with the programs, but also how it feels to accomplish their goals.

Robin grew up in one of the most diverse communities in the United States, as calculated by the number of languages spoken in the public school district. Would you guess that means Anchorage, Alaska? In addition to the linguistic and cultural diversity, Anchorage also mirrors Minneapolis in other ways. It’s (literally) a very cold place to experience homelessness, and that means our services for sheltered and unsheltered folks can’t look the same as they do in California or another warmer climate.

Robin has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Olaf College, and completed a year of Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Wilmington, Delaware. Prior to joining the OSCS team, Robin worked for the International Institute of Minnesota and St. Stephen’s Human Services (now called Agate Housing and Services).

Kala Hotakainen

Kala Hotakainen

Communications Associate

kala@oscs-mn.org | 612.386.8430

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Kala (she/her) joined the Communications and Development team at Our Saviour’s Community Services in the summer of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Minnesota, Crookston. In her role as Communications Associate, she will be helping to tell the story of the organization through email, social media, print, and the website.

Kala is an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and is originally from California. But she has lived in Minnesota for more than two decades now, and has even made a hotdish or two in her journey to becoming a Minnesotan!

Prior to her role at OSCS, she worked in aging services on the East Side of Saint Paul. Kala also has prior experience teaching beginning English classes through Literacy Minnesota. She looks forward to working with students of the English Learning Center and residents of Our Saviour’s Housing to tell their stories and share their successes.

Volunteer Coordinators

Hiba Al Hasnawi

Hiba Al Hasnawi

ELC Volunteer Coordinator

hiba@englishlc.org | 612.843.3607

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Hiba believes literacy has the power to advance equity and justice and envisions a world where transformative learning opportunities are within everyone’s reach, regardless of background, age, or ability. Having moved to the United States from Iraq just a few years ago, she is happy to work now with immigrants and refugees like herself. She also loves that the English Learning Center allows her to meet people who speak different languages and to learn from different cultures and religions.

Although Hiba holds a degree in mechanical engineering, she’s embracing her passion for education and desire to connect people to resources. She served two years in various roles as an Americorps VISTA with Literacy Minnesota. In addition to her role as a volunteer coordinator at the English Learning Center, which she began in 2021, Hiba continues to work at Literacy Minnesota’s Open Door Learning Center in Northeast Minneapolis.

Wateen Osman

Wateen Osman

OSH Volunteer Coordinator

volunteer@oshousing.org | 612.872.4193 x2

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Wateen left a job in corporate health care after feeling drawn to nonprofit work. She chose Our Saviour’s Housing because she believes we need to take responsibility for our homeless community. As an immigrant and a black woman, she knows how difficult it is to make something of yourself when society is set up against you. She believes if we all spent a little less time just talking about the issues and a little more time taking action, we can start to make a genuine change. As Volunteer Coordinator, Wateen loves meeting different people, recognizing their talents, and hearing their stories.

Wateen holds a degree in business administration with a minor in economics. Throughout her undergrad career, she traveled to Africa and the United Arab Emirates, where she worked with community members who were homeless and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. She joined OSH as volunteer coordinator in March 2020.

Board Officers

Angela Willson

Angela Willson

Chair

University of Minnesota

she/her

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Angela was drawn to OSCS because it combines two branches of service that are personally meaningful to her. Growing up in SE Asia among refugees and immigrants cemented her commitment to advocating on behalf of these populations. Angela has also worked with people experiencing homelessness and is convinced that homelessness can be solved through evidence-based, compassionate, and person-centered programs like Our Saviour’s. She appreciates that OSCS is truly of the community, responding to the direct needs of our neighbors in South Minneapolis, while also advocating for equity, sustainable solutions, and lasting change.

Angela is Interprofessional Continuing Education Director at the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota, providing resources and support to health care teams. Her background is in nonprofit administration, workforce development, and homeless and veteran’s services. Angela holds a Master’s of Public Health Administration and Policy from the University of Minnesota and has served on the OSCS board since February, 2015.

Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson

Vice-chair

Theater director/actor/teacher

he/him

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Craig has a nerdy passion for efficient, well-run organizations that serve the common good—which makes OSCS a perfect fit! He joined the board to support the people delivering and receiving transformative services. For years, Craig and a group of friends have also provided meals at the shelter, and this remains a rewarding, bonding experience. He would like to tell others to not be fooled by the churchy name. All are welcome. All can serve. All can receive. No exceptions.

In his professional life, Craig is a freelance theater artist working as an actor, director, writer, and teacher at many area theaters. He has served as Congregational President of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church and Vice President and Chair of the Minneapolis Area Synod Council (ELCA). He is the former director of the James J. Hill House in St. Paul. Craig has served on the OSCS board since April 2018.

Jane Dunlap

Jane Dunlap

Secretary

BEKA Wood Products

she/her

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Jane believes that OSCS is doing two really important things in the community simultaneously— providing a safe and positive space for people to learn English skills AND providing emergency, transitional, and permanent housing! Each of these branches alone is challenging for an organization to provide, but doing both successfully is truly amazing. She is most passionate about how empowering and life changing the programs can be and loves to hear the stories of those who have felt ready to start the next chapter in their lives.

Jane was born and raised in the Twin Cities and attended college at the University of Minnesota, earning a degree in biology. She has worked in education, environmental management, and urban farming and joined the OSCS board in May 2018. As a board member, she hopes to better educate the public in issues surrounding homelessness and immigration and to help facilitate an active and dynamic group of board members!

Nick Smith

Nick Smith

Treasurer

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

he/him

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Nick was introduced to OSCS through a former board member. He quickly learned that the organization is full of passionate and humble people who truly believe in the mission, and he’s honored to offer his own insights and expertise. Nick appreciates that OSCS is a diverse organization providing tools and opportunities to people in many situations. He’s most passionate about combatting homelessness and seeking to give individuals a safe and stable environment, especially as the problem continues to grow across Minnesota.

Nick holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School and has three years of experience in business and regulatory law, as well as in tax and finance. Prior to moving to Minnesota in 2015, Nick participated in various non-profit organizations, including faith-based ministries. Nick has served on the OSCS board since March 2019.

Martha Schwehn Bardwell

Martha Schwehn Bardwell

Ex-officio, Pastor

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church

she/her

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Martha joined the OSCS board in 2021. She first got involved with OSCS 10 years ago when she offered a weekly spirituality circle for OSH shelter residents, which she was inspired to offer after working with adults experiencing homelessness in Tacoma, WA. She is honored to serve on the board and is eager to discern how the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church congregation can keep supporting all the good work that OSCS does in the community. She is most passionate about how OSCS walks alongside community members in its programs in dignity-affirming ways, equipping folks with the skills they need for resilience and agency in their lives. She is inspired by the ways OSCS has worked hard to adapt and reimagine its programs to serve the expressed needs of its students and residents during the pandemic.

Martha has served as a pastor at Our Saviour’s since 2017. She brings a discerning spirit, a passion for antiracism and justice work, and congregational and community connections to the board. She lives in North Minneapolis with her husband Sam and 2 children.

Board Members

Katie Anthony

Katie Anthony

CommonBond Communities

she/her

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Katie has spent 20+ years and counting working in affordable housing development, specifically working with nonprofit organizations on the development of new housing and preservation of existing housing. She is particularly drawn to the work, projects and organizations that can most effectively support and serve individuals with the lowest incomes and highest potential housing barriers. She looks forward to the opportunity to contributing her technical affordable housing knowledge to OSCS’s growth, evolution, and success. At the same time, Katie humbly aims to broaden her perspective and knowledge on the hard work that community-based organizations such as OSCS do to positively impact its community and individual lives.

Katie has always integrated volunteering into her life in various ways. In addition, to her OSCS Board service, she is currently a volunteer English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom instructor with Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) in Minneapolis and hopes that work can also be an asset to OSCS.

Katie is a native of the Twin Cities area but spent multiple years in both Washington DC and Chicago and returned to the area in 2017. She has a graduate degree in Urban Planning from the University of Minnesota.

Anthony Coleman

Anthony Coleman

Hearth Connection; Community Member

he/him

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Anthony has been involved in homelessness-ending initiatives for over a decade in the Twin Cities. After moving from a direct service to an administrative role within the work, it was time to become more active within agencies in the city where he resides. Through an encounter with an old colleague, Anthony made consideration to join the board at Our Saviour’s with the goal to expand his own knowledge of nonprofit work in the community, and to contribute any expertise that he can with his knowledge of rental assistance and financial processes to end homelessness for more people in Minneapolis and beyond.

Jenny Geris

Jenny Geris

Wilder Foundation

she/her

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Jenny’s personal and professional interests align well with the mission and vision of OSCS, including a dedication to justice through compassionate support rooted in mutual respect. Jenny has worked at local nonprofits in multiple roles, including at a homeless shelter for women and children, as a home visitor working with formerly unhoused families, and as a program manager for a community organization responding to the needs of people experiencing crisis. Because of her experience, Jenny believes that dignified housing is a fundamental need and that our local systems and policies will best serve our community if they are also based in this view.

Jenny holds graduate degrees in Social Work and Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. In addition to what she’s learned through her work, her perspective is influenced by the importance of using both existing research as well as the authentic input of program participants when making decisions about programs and policies.

Jireh (G-Ray) Mabamba

Jireh (G-Ray) Mabamba

Community Member

he/him

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Born in a Christian household in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jireh has always been passionate about serving others in any way possible. He is new to OSCS as an organization, but he is not new to the fantastic work OSCS has been doing for the community. Jireh is a member of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis, a non-profit organization that partners with organizations like OSCS locally and worldwide to serve the community. Jireh is excited and eager to learn more about the OSCS and the impact it has been making in changing the lives of ordinary people locally and those who come from abroad and make our city their home. Jireh comes with an extensive amount of experience in fundraising and relationship building. Jireh is inspired daily by his wife and their two children. In his free time, Jireh enjoys playing basketball and practicing his Minnesota slang words such as Uff-da, Dontcha, and You-Betcha.

Tezra Osthus

Tezra Osthus

Apple Valley High School

she/her

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Tezra originally became involved with OSCS in 2014 as a volunteer teacher at the English Learning Center. After a few years of volunteering, she realized that she loved teaching English to immigrants and refugees so much that she decided to change careers and go to school to become a licensed English Language teacher. Now, she serves on the board because she believes the work OSCS does is important and makes a difference during vulnerable times in people’s lives. She likes feeling inspired and being part of a force for good in the world. She also believes that those who serve at OSCS are changed just as much as those who are served.

Tezra has a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Education. She has worked in nonprofits directly with clients, as well as in fundraising. She currently works full time as an English Language teacher. Tezra has served on the OSCS board since April 2019.

Tom Semple

Tom Semple

Self-Employed

he/him

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Tom, new with OSCS as of July 2022, is ready to serve and expects to learn a great deal along the way. He has been attending Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities with his wife for roughly three decades, where they have sung in the choir for much of that time.

He’s traveled from a rural background in Montana to an urban experience at Macalester College in St. Paul, followed by a career in Engineering, working primarily with fluids and automation here in the Twin Cities.

Charisma Smith

Charisma Smith

Minneapolis Public Schools

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Coming soon!

James Unglaube

James Unglaube

Retired; Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church Member

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James feels drawn to organizations that provide human services out of the simple Gospel call to care for the needs of the neighbor, the stranger, the person in need. As a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, he frequently describes how the congregation served as a birthing center for OSCS. He’s most passionate about the way the English Learning Center assists those who come to the U.S. with no English language knowledge and opens up a “new world” for them.

James has spent his career in Lutheran higher education at two colleges and as a member of the churchwide staff, in roles as varied as a college professor of chemistry, a college’s chief academic officer, a churchwide staff member who advocated on behalf of church-related higher education, and as a college’s chief development officer. He joined the OSCS board in April 2019.

Carrie Wandler

Carrie Wandler

St. Catherine University

she/her

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As an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Carrie partners with local non-profits and employers in the Phillips neighborhood to advance the work of social justice, human dignity, inclusion and workforce development. Her most recent work has focused on initiatives and education around the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Epidemic in Minnesota. She is eager to continue to deepen her commitment to the work of human dignity by supporting the populations that OSCS serves.

Carrie has worked in higher education for twenty years. She has taught composition, communications, literature, and digital literacy at Boston University, Harvard Extension School and Saint Mary’s University. Her student-centered approach to instruction and course design emphasizes inclusive practices that empower faculty and students to embrace the opportunities for creativity, innovation and collaboration that diversity fosters. Her research interests include knowledge acquisition and inclusivity in the digital age, psychometric assessment practices, and the role metacognition plays in inclusive teaching and learning. She received her MA in English and her Ed.D. in Postsecondary Teaching and Learning.

2315 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.871.5900
Fax | 612.871.0017

communications@oscs-mn.org

Our Saviour's Housing

2219 Chicago Ave. So.

Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.872.4193

Fax | 612.872.4442

communications@oscs-mn.org

English Learning Center

2315 Chicago Ave. So.

Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.874.9963

Fax | 612.871.0017

info@englishlc.org