Meet our team




Leah Hébert Welles, Executive Director

Leah began leading Open Arms in 2013 after 20 years of leadership positions at several nonprofit health care organizations. Leah’s work attests to her deep commitment to community health and access to resources for underserved and vulnerable populations. Leah has served on a variety of boards of directors and community coalitions, and currently serves on the steering committees for both the Minnesota Cancer Alliance and the Minnesota Hunger Initiative.




Alan Schelin, Senior Director of Kitchen Operations

Alan Schelin has many years of experience overseeing and setting up large kitchens all over the country, with annual budgets in the millions. He has experience with the business end and management of kitchens and the food industry, and has been a trainer and teacher throughout his career.





April Bogard, Senior Director of Programs

April has 20 years of experience working in food safety and public health as a health inspector, epidemiologist, and food safety inspection program supervisor. She served as an epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Hawaii Department of Health, specializing in foodborne disease investigation, research and prevention. April is a registered Environmental Health Specialist/Sanitarian (REHS/RS) and holds an MPH from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.




Jill Hogan, Senior Director of Finance & Administration

Jill has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit finance and administration, with 15 years of experience managing the accounting and reporting of county, state and federal grant programs. She has managed budgets up to $12 million annually and has worked with unions, homeless shelters, churches, and individuals to help low income families experience success through stable housing and financial stability. Jill has a strong background in process improvement and information/computer systems and has overseen the IT departments at multiple nonprofits and medical clinics throughout her career. She received her B.A. from Metro State University.




Lisa Lane, Senior Director of Development & Community Engagement

Lisa Lane has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1997, primarily in social and human services. She has held a variety of roles including development, community relations, communications and program development. Lisa served as the Development Director & VP of Resource Development for the Jewish Community Relations Council, Neighborhood House and Hennepin Theatre Trust; as the Foundation Director for The Phillips Eye Institute; and as Director of Advancement for United Family Medicine. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Iowa.


All full- and part-time staff:

Angie Swanson, Strategic Partnerships Manager
Annamarie Rigelman, Bakery Assistant
Aoife O’Connor, Client Services Manager
Brianna Elliott, RD, LD, Nutrition Services Coordinator
Charles Byas, Part-time Janitor
Christine Wilson, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Cristina Cintron Rolon, Human Resources Manager
Deandra Bieneman, Community Outreach Manager
Edward Jackson, Dishwasher
Emily Mauter, Events Manager
Emily Szeliga, Delivery & Logistics Assistant
Jim Wilson, Kitchen Assistant
Jeanne Foels, Communications Manager
Jennifer Bliss, Volunteer & Development Coordinator
Joe Seine, Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
JoEllen Brenny, Kitchen Assistant
Kelly Wilson, Farm Coordinator
Kevin Coughenour, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Lila Gilbert, Senior Manager of Volunteer Engagement
Lloyd Vogel, Part-Time Delivery Driver
Mai Yang, Client Services Associate
Margaret Chamberlain, Bakery Manager
Maria Johnson, Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
Michael Higgins, Building & Grounds Manager
Nora Vonnegut, Client Services Associate
Seth Daugherty, Executive Chef
Sophia Benrud, Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
Sue Hanson, Office & Administration Coordinator

Kitchen of Opportunities staff:
These Open Arms staff members work at an off-site commercial kitchen managed by OAM.

Desiree Johnson, Kitchen Assistant
Kari Goodwin, Chef
Lucia Campoverde, Kitchen Assistant
Michelle Spieker, Head Chef

Would you like to support the work that our staff does nourishing people in our community?
Make a donation in their honor>>

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