Meet the Open Arms team
Leah Hébert Welles, Chief Executive Officer
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.
Danielle Brady, Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement and Hospitality
Danielle brings over 20 years of experience working alongside volunteers and almost 15 years leading a volunteer engagement department. As a certified trainer for the Minnesota Association of Volunteer Administration, she leads trainings throughout the metro area and state on volunteer engagement best practices, poverty, privilege and bridging gaps of understanding between differences. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is a Qualifying Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory®. As someone who is registered to teach integrative yoga therapy, she firmly believes in Open Arms’ mission to nurture mind, body and soul.
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.
Lisa Lane, Senior Director of External Affairs
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.
Blake Wangelin, Food Services Director
Blake grew up in the food service industry and has held varying positions for the last 15 years. He has spent time working in large hotels, fine dining catering companies, television networks as a food stylist, and teaching independent vulnerable adults how to cook simple meals at home. Blake came to Open Arms to use his passion for people and food to make a positive impact in the lives of others, and further serve our community healthy and delicious meals.
Cristina Cintron Rolon, Senior Director of Human Resources, JD
Cristina has a Bachelors in Philosophy and a Juris Doctor. Most of her career has been focused on risk management, reducing organizational liability, building processes to ensure efficient operations, and supporting leadership teams through creative problem solving. As a trained mediator, Cristina has been supporting leadership teams build stronger and healthier relationships with team members and reconcile interests to promote positivity and an effective performing environment. Cristina brings to the team a strategic and practical approach to organizational changes and the challenges that come with it.
Noah Barton, Food Services Director for the Kitchen of Opportunities
Noah has over 25 years of experience working in kitchens around the country. Noah earned an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and has a Bachelor’s in Marketing from The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. He also carries certifications as an Executive Chef from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and as a Dietary Manager from the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP). Noah is passionate about the nutritional value of whole, fresh foods and the impact that eating well can have on health.
Kathryn Southard, Director of Development
Kathryn has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade. During this time, she held a variety of roles in program management and development for public health-focused organizations. Most recently, she served as the Director of Institutional Giving at Planned Parenthood of Illinois. With a passion for ensuring access to quality care, she came to Open Arms to help connect donors and supporters to its meaningful mission. Kathryn received her MPH from the Colorado School of Public Health.
Brianna Tobritzhofer, Director of Nutrition Services, MS, RD, LD
Brianna is a registered dietitian who has been working in the field of nutrition for 7 years, with a variety of experience working in clinical, corporate wellness, and community settings. She is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin-Stout where she received her B.S. degree in Dietetics. Brianna completed her dietetic internship and M.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics from Mount Mary University, which had a focus on health promotion and disease prevention. Aside from her work at Open Arms, Brianna serves as the Communications Director on the Board of the MN Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, and provides freelance writing services to a variety of publications.
All full- and part-time staff:
Abbey Dibble, Logistics and Delivery Manager
Alana Jenkins, Volunteer Engagement Database Specialist
Alejandro Moris Figueroa, Client Services Associate
Angela Mrema, Client Services Associate
Anna Befort, Farm Assistant
Anna Irmiter, Project Manager
Ashley N. Sain, Client Services Associate
Austin Lane, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Austin Stahl, Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
Caitlin Brewer, Lead Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
Deandra Bieneman, Individual Giving Manager
Emily Szeliga, Delivery & Logistics Assistant
Gabby Keys, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Gerard Boissy, Building and Grounds Manager
Jade Bryngelson, Registered Dietitian, RD, LD
Jenny Burr, Bookkeeper & Administration Coordinator
Joann Cho Oudekerk, Lead Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
Joe Seine, Shipping and Logistics Coordinator
JoEllen Brenny, Kitchen Assistant
Jonathan K. Hoffmann, Delivery Driver and Logistics Associate
Juliette Lelchuk, Baker and Volunteer Ambassador
Kalley Hakes, Registered Dietitian, RD, LD
Kari Goodwin, Lead Baker and Volunteer Ambassador
Kelly Wilson, Farm Coordinator
Kevin Coughenour, Chef and Volunteer Ambassador
Kyle Kvamme, Communications Coordinator
LaKandis Neal, Client Services Associate
Luis Barrientos Munoz, Kitchen Assistant
Maggie Craig, Executive & HR Assistant
Maria Johnson, Catering Chef
Marvin Lin, Communications Manager
Megan White, Institutional Relations Officer
Michael Marcotte, Events Manager
Michael McKay, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Nora Vonnegut, Client Services Lead
Rachel Jambois, Registered Dietitian, RD, LD
Russell D. Lowe, Chef and Volunteer Ambassador
Sarah Cohen, Dietetic Technician
Sofia Kaut, Client Services Data Entry Specialist
Kitchen of Opportunities staff:
These Open Arms staff members work at an off-site commercial kitchen managed by OAM.
Antoine Simon, Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
Desiree Johnson, Lead Kitchen Assistant
Fiona Green, Kitchen Assistant
Kenneth Thornton, Kitchen Assistant
Lucia Campoverde, Kitchen Assistant
Nataniel Rayman, Lead Chef
Would you like to support the work that our staff does nourishing people in our community?
Make a donation in their honor>>