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.



Kateri Routh, Director of Finance and Administration 

Kateri comes to Open Arms of Minnesota with nearly 15 years of nonprofit financial and administrative experience. After 10 years working at nonprofit organizations in Chicago, she most recently managed the finances, building, HR and technology for a local basic needs organization. Kateri has a Master’s degree in public services management from DePaul University and an undergraduate business degree from the University of Iowa.




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
Antoine Simon, Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
Aoife O’Connor, Client Services Manager
Blake Wangelin, Head Program Chef
Brianna Elliott, RD, LD, Nutrition Services Coordinator
Caitlin Brewer, Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
Caitlin Swanson, Communications Manager
Charles Byas, Part-Time Janitor
Christine Wilson, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Cristina Cintron Rolon, Human Resources Manager
Deandra Bieneman, Community Outreach Manager
Edward Jackson, Dishwasher
Eman Kemp, Part-Time Registered Dietitian
Emily Mauter, Events Manager
Emily Szeliga, Delivery & Logistics Assistant
Jenna Yeakle, Part-Time Kitchen Host
Jennifer Bliss, Volunteer & Development Coordinator
Jennifer Burr, Bookkeeper & Administration Coordinator
Jim Wilson, Kitchen Assistant
Joe Seine, Chef & Volunteer Ambassador
JoEllen Brenny, Kitchen Assistant
Kelly Wilson, Farm Coordinator
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
West Foster, Logistics & Delivery Coordinator

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

Desiree Johnson, Kitchen Assistant
Ian Hansen, Chef
Kari Goodwin, Chef
Kenneth Thornton, Kitchen Assistant
Lucia Campoverde, Kitchen Assistant
Manuel Alvarez, Kitchen Assistant
Nataniel Rayman, 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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