Leadership

Executive Team

Lisa-Mears

Lisa Mears, Executive Director

Lisa Mears was most recently the CEO at Family Pathways, an $8.5 million agency whose 225 staff provide a continuum of services including emergency shelter, food access and youth support services throughout East Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Prior to that role, she was the CEO at VEAP, a basic needs and social service organization located in Bloomington. Mears’ previous experience includes grants management and health education. Mears holds a BS in Public Health from St. Cloud State University and a Master’s in Public Affairs (Public Administration & Nonprofit Management) from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Christina Heineken Woodlee, MPA, Senior Director of Strategy & Partnerships

Christina joined The Bridge as Program Director in January 2018, bringing 15+ years of leadership experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. In June, 2018, she was promoted to Associate Director, and in this capacity provides leadership to the program and development departments. Prior to The Bridge she spent nearly a decade with The United Way developing nationally recognized donor affinity groups, including Women United, Emerging Leaders and Arise Project. She began her career at Discovery Creek Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C., as the Special Events and Board Relations Manager, in this capacity focusing on philanthropy advocacy and legislation. Christina graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico with a Master Degree in Public Administration, as well as an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Family Studies.

Karla Dross, MA, Finance and Operations Director

Karla Dross has more than 25 years of experience leading the finance and administrative functions in nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she worked as a Chief Financial Officer for CliftonLarsonAllen-Business Operations team working with several nonprofits. She has served as Chief Financial Officers at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) and the Center for Victims of Torture. Dross has also worked at College Possible as its first Director of Finance and Operations, and at the Neighborhood Health Care Network. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration from Wichita State University and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota.

Angela Alvarez, MA, Human Resources Director

Angela Alvarez graduated with a BA in psychology from Minnesota State University at Mankato and an M.A. in counseling and psychological practices from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis. She started as a Youth & Family Counselor intern in the fall of 2011, before joining the staff full time in the Emergency Shelter Program. With a passion for organization, policies and supporting BFY staff, Angela made the transition from direct staff to administration staff when the HR Coordinator position opened up. Angela was promoted quickly to HR Manager and then to HR Director where she oversees the daily HR functions for staff, interns and volunteers. Angela enjoys reading, writing, traveling, the outdoors, being a sports fan and spending time with friends and family.

Board of Directors

    • Kristine Oberg, Board Chair, Elavon Inc., Vice President of Strategic Planning

    • James R. Denniston, Board Vice Chair/Governance Committee Chair, Xcel Energy, Assistance General Counsel

    • Bob Striker, Board Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair; Stinson LLP, Of Counsel

    • Charles Bolger, Bolger Vision Beyond Print, Executive Officer- Retired

    • Camille Bryant, Hennepin County, Assistant Public Defender

    • Dan DuHamel, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Program Officer

    • Jason Hertel, Thrivent Financial, Director, IT Digital Workforce

    • Inspector Amelia Huffman, Minneapolis Police Department, 5th Precinct Commander

    • Sharon Hughes, Ameriprise Financial, Senior Vice President Internal Communications

    • Cheniqua Johnson, United States House of Representatives, Legislative Assistant

    • Amy Jones, Development Committee Chair, Educational Consultant, ABJ Educational Consulting

    • Geoffrey Jones, Principal, Geoff Jones Creative

    • Michael Lehan, Osseo Senior High School, Principal

    • Anne Rasmussen, Temple Israel, COO/CFO

    • Sarah Sanchez, American Heart Association, Director of Community Advocacy

    • Gloria Stamps-Smith, Hennepin County, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney