Julie is a systems theory trained, “big picture” human services leader who is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people. A Commissioned Minister, Julie’s faith tradition informs her belief that humanity requires the unique perspectives and contributions of each person and that every person is inherently deserving of dignity, respect, and belonging. For most of her life, Julie has been working for social justice and advocating for various public policy and funding initiatives.
Julie has more than 35 years of experience working in a variety of complex human services nonprofits. Prior to Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin, Julie served as the President & CEO of Living Well Disability Services and a Board Member of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Older Adults. She previously served as the Vice President of External Relations at Family Services of Greater St. Paul Children’s Home Society, Executive Director at Simpson Housing, and she is a Licensed Independent Social Worker. Julie holds a Master in Social Work from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Social Work from Texas Christian University.
As a leader, Julie promotes diversity, equity, and cultural inclusiveness in the community and within the workplace, believing we are called to come together, share our best selves, to pick each other up, and to be accountable to each other.
Julia is passionate about working to close the gaps between people and possibility. She believes in supporting people to reach their full potential, the resiliency of communities, and hope.
Julia has almost 20 years of experience working to improve the health and well-being of people and communities. She has held numerous leadership positions that tap into her background in public health, external relations, resource development, communications and marketing, and strategy development and implementation. In her role at Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin, Julia works to advance the organization's Affordable Housing, Community Justice, and Older Adult Services strategy, while stewarding and enhancing community engagement and mission advancement. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Julia has served on cross-sector coalitions, committees, and boards throughout her career, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Center for Energy and Environment.
Julia believes in the power of the social sector to be influencers of larger systemic change through its excellence, compassion, innovation, and grit.
Fei believes that being planful helps teams create more capacity and confidence to effectively respond to unexpected events. She enjoys working at both the 30,000- and 300-foot level of strategy and operations.
Fei has had extensive experience in strategic planning, execution, and project management, with corporate roles at Boston Consulting Group, JPMorgan, and Target Corporation. In her role at Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin, Fei works closely with Senior Directors and their teams in Behavioral Health and Education, Disability Services, and Youth Residential Treatment to provide compassionate person-centered care, while also considering how we continue to help people and communities live their best lives well into the future. She is a Board Member for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Coalition of Asian American Leaders. Fei holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Stanford University.
Fei stands behind VOA's guiding principles to approach life and all it throws our way with integrity, honesty, compassion, and perseverance.
As Director of Information Technology, Jeff strives to implement technology that enhances Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin’s work with the people and communities we serve.
Jeff originally began working at VOAs Children’s Residential Treatment Center and later transitioned to the Information Technology (IT) team. He has more than 10 years of experience managing information systems, including the implementation and oversight of system security. Jeff has a Bachelor of Arts from Saint John’s University.
Jeff specializes in IT security systems and is passionate about leveraging technology to provide efficient, secure solutions for VOA’s services.
In his role as Director of Mission Advancement, Chris is responsible for maintaining and expanding the organization’s corporate and foundation grant portfolio. He also provides coordination and preparation of the organization’s grant responses for governmental funding agencies.
Prior to his role at Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin, Chris was the Manager of Sharing and Caring Hands’ Mary’s Place, a temporary shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis. At Mary’s Place, he was responsible for the oversight of case management efforts, guest experience, grant writing, and volunteer engagement and coordination. Chris also spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, serving as a Business Development Advisor for several new and emerging business ventures. Chris holds a Certificate in Fundraising from the University of Saint Thomas and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Saint John’s University.
Chris leads from the motto, “stay humble and curious.”
Steve leads a small but mighty team that strives to meet the communications needs for the over 60 service lines at Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin, while supporting overall organizational messaging and fundraising communications. Originally the Communications Director for Amicus Services, he joined the VOA Communications team during the 2013 merger.
Steve has over 30 years of nonprofit and government marketing and communications experience, including previous roles with the City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation division, Library division and Mayor’s Marketing Office, the City of Eden Prairie, and Washington County Government. Steve began his career as an editor, reporter, and photographer at three newspapers and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Augustana College.
Steve's work in communications is supported by a passion for telling the stories of people who are often marginalized. As a finisher in 15 marathons, avoiding the use of running analogies in everything he writes is a never-ending struggle for him.
As Director of Racial Justice & Spiritual Care, Laura applies a racial justice and equity lens to ministry and spiritual care and guides direct efforts in community outreach and relationship-building with BIPOC-led initiatives to address systemic racism. She leads the Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin ministry team to further develop and diversify the VOA Ministry of Service in local communities. Laura also manages the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program to enhance the spiritual care provided to the people served by VOA.
An ordained pastor, Laura has more than 23 years of experience as a minister and providing spiritual guidance. She is an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Certified Educator Candidate with The Association of Certified Pastoral Education (ACPE) Spiritual Direction Certification. Laura has a Doctor of Philosophy from Princeton Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Olaf College.
Laura fosters spiritual care throughout the organization by tending to the ways people find meaning and purpose in their lives: honoring the whole person’s inherent dignity (body-mind-spirit), listening with care and attention, offering a non-judgmental presence, bearing witness to the resilience of spirit in the life stories of individuals, and the work of healing and advocacy for the advancement of racial justice and equity in our communities.
Service Area Leadership
As Senior Director of Community Justice, Chris oversees Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin’s reentry services for men and women returning to community after incarceration. In his role, he strives to create a world where second chances are unlimited.
Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and brings more than 20 years of program management experience. After a career in the US Postal Service, he came to VOA through Amicus, first as a volunteer and then as a program facilitator and manager of Amicus' Volunteer & Mentoring Program. He is a member of the Minnesota Corrections Association (MCA), Minnesota Community Corrections Association (MCCA), and the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA). Chris is certified in Motivational Interviewing, Thinking for Change, Carey Guides, and Treatment Group Facilitation.
Chris embraces the philosophy of radical hospitality, which stems from the belief that all human beings are inherently deserving of dignity and respect.
As Director of Care Options Network, Susanne works to connect service providers to care resources and fosters relationship building to help older adults thrive.
Susanne has more than 15 years of professional experience in the older adult care industry and knows first-hand that older adults are best served when industry providers trust and support each other. Susanne has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of Minnesota.
Susanne is personally inspired by the mission of Care Options Network and believes a team leads a product or service to its full potential. She strives to create a space that seeks and nurtures engagement.
As Senior Director Behavioral Health & Education, Katie strives to ensure each person receives unique supports that serve the whole person and their family through services tailored especially for their individual needs. She is eager to seek new learning and pursue opportunities to ever improve Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin’s impact for individuals and communities.
Katie has more than 15 years of experience providing direct outpatient mental health therapy services and over 8 years of experience in service area leadership. Her experience includes providing individual, family, and group therapy service to adults and older adults, supervising mental health providers, providing public presentations on mental health topics, and overseeing operations with a focus on delivering services that are culturally responsive, trauma informed, and with exceptional outcomes for those served. Katie is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and has a Master in Social Work from Saint Catherine’s University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Business Management from the University of Minnesota.
As a leader, Katie uplifts program supervisors and staff as we work to walk alongside individuals on their journey to be their whole and best selves. She believes being a part of someone’s journey is incredibly precious and this meaningful role fuels her commitment to this work.
As Senior Director of Disability Services, Liz leads her team from a place of creating joy and fostering independence for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Liz has worked with Volunteers of America Minnesota and Wisconsin for nearly 10 years, initially working as a Program Manager and being promoted to Regional Manager and later Associate Director. She is an expert in delivering quality person-centered services and advocating for essential home and community-based services for people with disabilities. Liz has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Nebraska.
Liz believes all people have the right to live, love, work, play, and pursue their own life aspirations.