The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota welcomes six new trustees to its Board. Their three-year terms began on April 1, 2021.
WFMN’s President & CEO Gloria Perez shared, “WFMN’s new Trustees are united in their commitment to gender and racial equity and bring unique experiences, skill sets and identities as former Young Women’s Initiative Cabinet Leaders, and donor and grantee-partners from across the state. With a shared belief in the power of community solutions, the new Trustees will fuel WFMN’s investments in a Minnesota where girls, women, and all people hold the power to create and lead safe, prosperous lives.”
Andrea Duarte-Alonso is a young, Greater Minnesotan Latina living and working in her hometown of Worthington. Currently, Andrea is a Lead for America Hometown Fellow at the Southwest Initiative Foundation and Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. She works in community engagement and development with a focus on young people and immigrant communities in the southwest region. Andrea is an alumna of the Young Women’s Cabinet and a WFMN Innovator. She is also a writer and storyteller. Andrea is the creator of Stories from Unheard Voices, an online platform of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants in Greater Minnesota. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, women’s studies, and English from St. Catherine University.
Vanessa Goodthunder, Sna Sna Wiƞ (Snah-Snah Weeƞ) comes from C̣aƞṡayapi (Chahƞ-shah-yah-pee), which means where they paint the trees red, also known as the Lower Sioux Indian Community. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a bachelor’s degree in U.S history and American Indian studies-Dakota language, and with a master’s degree in education. Her passions are education, revitalizing the Dakota language, and working with Native youth.
Vanessa believes that language can be used to heal from historical trauma and has dedicated her life to learning and teaching her languages (Dakota and Dine). Vanessa has worked with the nonprofit organization and grantee-partner Daḳota Wic̣oḣaƞ (Dakota Way of Life) as both a youth participant and later, a language instructor supporting Dakota language curriculum development. She was aide to the chief of staff and tribal affairs policy advisor in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith. She is a 2016 Champion for Change through the Center for Native American Youth located in D.C where she helps raise awareness of Native Youth issues and conducts advocacy. Currently, she serves as the director of the C̣aƞṡayapi Waḳaƞyeża Owayawa Oṭi- A Dakota Immersion Early Head Start and Head Start, the first Dakota Head Start in the State of Minnesota. (Three-year term begins on December 1, 2021.)
Adair Mosley is the president and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities, a pioneering community impact agency guided by a vision for thriving communities where every person has personal, social, and economic power. A passionate change-maker and relentless strategic innovator, Adair seeks radical and inclusive solutions to the community’s most urgent needs, co- created with people most affected. Previously as Pillsbury’s Chief Innovation Officer, Adair led a $7 million dollar capital campaign to build North Market, a first-of-its-kind grocery store and wellness center that’s transforming food access, community health, and economic vitality in North Minneapolis.
He is a sought-after public speaker on topics including health equity, leadership, innovation and disruptive system design. He is a member of the Itasca Project, the CEO Council for the Alliance of Strong Families and Communities and serves on the boards of MinnPost and Center for Economic Inclusion. In 2019, Adair was selected to represent the Twin Cities region at Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program. He’s been named one of Grist’s 50 Fixers—”individuals cooking up the boldest solutions to humanity’s biggest challenges”—and received the Local Legend Award from the General Mills Foundation for the embodiment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision and legacy.
Adair attended the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan’s Executive Leadership Institute. He was an American Express Leadership Fellow in 2014 and earned a certificate in Human Centered Design at Stanford’s d.school.
Anita Patel is the vice president of grantmaking at the Bush Foundation. Anita joined the Bush Foundation in 2015 as the leadership programs director. She works with a wonderful team to equip, inspire, and connect leaders in order to drive equitable change that strengthens our region. She brought a significant record of accomplishments to the Foundation, including ten years of developing a wide-range of leadership and inclusion programs as the vice president for racial justice and public policy at the YWCA of Minneapolis.
In 2019, she received a 40 under 40 award from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. In 2011, she was awarded the Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award, presented by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Anita was named a Top Six Business Leader Under 30 by Minnesota Business Magazine and a Top Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotan by the Minnesota Jaycees. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and a master’s from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She serves on the boards of Voices for Racial Justice and the Minnesota Humanities Center.
Brenda Quaye is owner and founder of Venstar, LLC, one of a handful of woman-owned commercial real estate firms in Minnesota and active in the Twin Cities area. Founded in 1999, Venstar owns, manages, and develops commercial real estate in the Minneapolis, Mankato, and Rochester markets. The entire portfolio consists of over 170,000 square feet of Class A office/flex space and over 50 acres of developable land.
Fatima Said serves as executive director for Project FINE, a nonprofit organization that is focused on integrating newcomers through education in Winona, MN. In her role, she provides direction for the organization and works to build cross-sector partnerships that benefit both immigrants and refugees and the receiving community. Working with newcomers is Fatima’s passion, stemming from her personal experience as a refugee from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fatima is a strong advocate for developing inclusive communities and has been recognized with several local, state, and national awards for her dedication to helping our newest neighbors.