Marie has over 17 years of experience in the Information Technology (IT) field. She is currently working for Optum Healthcare on their IT Mergers & Acquisition team. Prior to working with Optum, Marie held positions with Travelers Insurance and Ecolab. Marie was born and raised in Minnesota. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and her Master’s in Business Administration from the College of St. Scholastica. She is currently pursuing a degree in Global Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Marie lives in Lino Lakes with her husband and daughter.
Board Member/Board Treasurer
Steve is a Senior Attorney at Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, where he works on a variety of matters aimed at protecting and advancing the rights of low-income individuals and families in the areas of employment and public assistance. Prior to his work with SMRLS, Steve was an Equal Justice Works Fellow with the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition in Washington, D.C., where he provided pro bono removal defense and advocated on conditions of confinement for immigration detainees, and he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Joan N. Ericksen in the United States District Court in Minneapolis. Steve is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the University of Michigan.
Mari Jo Long
Mari Jo leads a team of Youth Program Coordinators who plan and facilitate youth programs in North and South Minneapolis. She works with staff to guide service delivery, data collection, budget, and coordination with internal and community partners. With the team, she evaluates critical program components and uses the data to continually improve programs. Also, Mari Jo actively participates in cross sector collective impact initiatives to address the achievement gap.
Gretchen was born and raised in Minnesota. She earned her bachelors in education from Pacific Lutheran University, Washington and a masters in education from the University of Minnesota. Gretchen has been a teacher and worked with teacher candidates. The vision of Daily Work has inspired her to volunteer and she is excited about working with people as they explore new job possibilities. In her free time Gretchen loves to walk, bike and spend time with her family.
Dr. Annie A. Porbeni (Nee Brisibe) is a wife and a mother of three beautiful children who has lived in three different countries namely, Nigeria, Canada and the United States. She is a native of Nigeria but is widely travelled. She is a proud graduate of Rivers State University of Science and Technology Portharcourt Nigeria where she pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension. Subsequently, a Diploma in Community Based Development where she specialized in Participatory Learning and Action from St. Francis Xavier Universty/Coady International Institute Antigonish, Nova Scotia Canada and a Masters of Arts in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada and a PhD. in Organizational Leadership Policy Development from the University of Minnesota i with a specialization in Human Resources Development. Dr. Porbeni grew up as a young athlete competing in sports such as handball, soccer, volley ball, table tennis, badminton and table tennis. Dr. Porbeni at the young age of 13 represented Nigeria in the Helsinki cup handball junior championship in Sweden and Denmark. A lover of sports any sports but a believer in girls participation in sports as a whole. Dr. Porbeni loves to draw and paint in her spare time but loves to experiment with technical and electrical home repairs. She also teaches her two older kids soccer and table tennis.
A graduate of Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN, Jennifer Schneider is a deacon rostered in the ELCA. She serves as Associate Minister of Outreach and Evangelism at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in east St. Paul. For the past 15 years, she has worked in the non-profit sector in communications, management, and volunteer relations. Jennifer is married and has 2 kids. She enjoys spending time with her family, baking, being crafty, and being outdoors.
Abera immigrated from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2011. He studied accounting for two years at Addis Ababa University College of commerce. He is a father of three and lives with his wife and kids in Saint Paul, MN. Abera currently works at Seagate, one of the top technology leading companies in the country as a machine operator and also works part-time at the MSP airport as a customer service agent. He likes working with people and the community. Abera has organized his fellow airport workers to form a labor union and helped to change the state minimum wage at the airport as well. In his spare time Abera likes to admire nature and take walks through forests.
Matt has been consulting with qualified retirement plans since 2004 and currently works for SevenHills Cleveland Benefit Partners as a CEFEX Certified Retirement Plan Consultant. Prior to joining SevenHills Cleveland, he was a Retirement Plan Consultant for Securian Financial Group covering the Midwest and Mountain regions. Matt received his Finance and Economics degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Originally from Thief River Falls MN, he currently lives in Mendota Heights with his wife and young son.