Otto Bremer Trust awards $100,000 to JMA client working in child welfare advocacy.

Poehler Stremel Charitable Trust awards $2,000 to charter school serving minority and low-income students in the Twin Cities.

JMA secures $18,000 from Women’s Foundation for primary education client serving minority students.

JMA client connecting youth to STEM training awarded $40,000 from 3M Foundation.

Rochester Area Foundation awards $5,000 to JMA client working in youth STEM education.

JMA client preparing the next generation of STEM professionals awarded $10,000 from Ingersoll Rand Foundation.

JMA client connecting low-income students to excellent primary education awarded $25,000 from US Bank.

Target Foundation awards $75,000 to JMA client working in primary education.

JMA secures $2,500 from Open Your Heart for student-centered care at local charter school.

JMA primary education client awarded $5,000 from Walser Foundation.

RKMC Foundation awards $15,000 to JMA client working in primary education in the Twin Cities.

Best Buy Foundation awards $5,000 to JMA client bringing STEM education to youth.

JMA secures $6,500 from H.B. Fuller for youth STEM education.

Great River Energy awards $1,500 to JMA client connection youth to STEM education.

JMA client bringing health education to Somali women awarded $2,500 from Solidarity MN.

Otto Bremer Trust awards $35,000 to JMA client preparing tomorrow’s diverse entrepreneurs.

JMA secures $25,000 from St. Paul Foundation for client working in accessibility services.

JMA client providing services to individuals with disabilities awarded $25,000 from F.R. Bigelow Foundation.

F.R. Bigelow Foundation awards $25,000 to JMA client training low-income youth for STEM careers.

JMA client connecting people of color to STEM careers awarded $25,000 from St. Paul Foundation.

JMA secures $2,500 from Archie D. & Bertha H. Walker Foundation for client training the next generation of tech professionals.

Best Buy Foundation awards $5,000 to JMA client introducing digital literacy to low-income students.

JMA secures $5,000 from Poehler/Stremel Charitable Trust for client refurbishing and donating computers to Twin Cities schools and nonprofits.

March Family Foundation awards $5,000 to JMA client training at-risk youth for careers in IT.

JMA client bridging career equity gaps through IT training awarded $20,000 from Travelers Foundation.

JMA client serving Minnesota veterans receives $2,750 in Walmart Community grants.

Ecolab awards $30,000 to JMA client training youth/young adults for IT careers in St. Paul.

JMA secures $275,000 from DEED Pathways to Prosperity for client training adults for IT careers.

JMA secures $200,000 from DEED Youth at Work for client training at-risk youth for IT careers.

Fred C. & Katherine B. Andersen Foundation awards $35,000 to JMA client training low-income youth for tomorrow’s IT workforce.

Proto Labs awards $15,000 to JMA client training low-income youth for STEM careers.

JMA secures $5,000 from Pentair Foundation for client training the next generation of tech professionals.

Walser Foundation awards $5,000 to JMA client working in higher education.

JMA secures a $10,000 grant from Richard Schulze Family Foundation for a Charter School in Minneapolis.

The Schulze Family Foundation awards $10,000 to JMA client in IT workforce training for at-risk youth and minority communities in the Twin Cities area.


Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy, Principal

Journalism BA, minors in French, Art History and English

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Julie has more than 20 years of experience functioning as an Advancement and Development Director for various agencies including Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency (MVNA), the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) and Tubman Family Alliance. These positions, along with her roles in the National Retiree Volunteer Council and Twin Cities Public Television, have helped Julie hone her expertise in strategic marketing and communications planning, event management and fundraising. Julie also has a strong background in Volunteer Leadership and Board Development, her professional achievements include launching the MVNA’s Flu Shot Program with the Health Fair 11 and UCARE to produce one of the nation’s most successful public flu shot campaigns to date, raising more than $500,000 annually from 2002-2005 for “An Evening Among Stars,” MEDA’s annual gala which became a “Business Journal Top 25,” and launching her own business, J. Murphy & Associates, in 2005. Julie also has over 20 years of experience with CRM and fundraising softwares and platforms including Raiser’s Edge, eTapestry, Goldmine, Little Green Light, Donor Advisors, Salesforce, Ewave and more. When she isn’t busy running JMA, Julie enjoys resting, throwing dinner parties, cooking, and being with her family. She also loves watching crocuses bloom in the spring, taking vacations to Florida or Belize, and cheering for the Vikings.

Emily Rollag

Emily Rollag

Emily Rollag, Human Resources & Operations Manager

Paralegal – Multi-Legal Option BS

Originally joining JMA as a Development Associate, Emily, a graduate of Minnesota State University Mankato, was a paralegal for Meshbesher & Spence law firm. She has also worked for Bremer & Trollop, Foley & Mansfield and GMAC. She serves on the Children’s Ministry Committee at her church and has volunteered teaching Firelight, Ablaze and Affirm classes. In her spare time, Emily enjoys being with her family, especially cheering for her 4 children as they are active in band, track, soccer, baseball and basketball. She likes to bike, run 5K’s and explore new restaurants.

Gavin Murphy

Gavin Murphy

Gavin Murphy

Gavin is working towards his accounting degree at the University of St. Thomas where he also plans to attend Law School after graduation. On his off days, he enjoys spending time with his dog, Charlie, at the dog park and laying by the pool on hot summer days.


Bev Ordahl

Bev Ordahl, Events Director, Business Administration

Management and Operations BS, minor in design

A graduate of Minnesota State University – Mankato, Bev brings over 15 years of management, marketing and visual merchandising experience to the JMA event team. Active in her community, Bev has managed and coordinated numerous Minnesota Youth Athletic baseball tournaments and annual school fundraisers. On her off days, she enjoys reading, watching Minnesota Twins baseball games and going to yoga classes.


Shaine Picard

Shaine Picard, Development Director

Public Health Masters, Environmental Science and Nutrition BA

An alumnus of the University of Minnesota and MN School of Public Health, Shaine brings over 10 years of experience in customer service, management, research, fundraising, and development. She has worked in various capacities with nonprofits like Southeast Como Improvement Association and the Coalition of Somali American Leaders, as well as several local for-profit start-ups in the Twin Cities Metro. Shaine also volunteers locally and internationally with organizations including Relay for Life, Feed My Starving Children, and Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. She enjoys travelling, cooking, skiing and yoga in her spare time.


Elizabeth Brandt

Elisabeth Brandt, Senior Grant Writer

Creative Writing Masters, and English BA

Since attending Penn State for undergrad, followed by the University of Minnesota Twin cities for her MFA, Elisabeth has worked with a wide range of non-profits—from tribal organizations to international schools to public broadcasting stations to land-grant universities to art museums—as both a teaching writer and a grant writer. She has committed herself to social change and the imagination via the transformative power of the written word, and has published poetry on an international scale under the pen name Elisabeth Workman. When she is not writing, Elisabeth teaches creative writing at Minneapolis College of Art & Design and enjoys spending time with her dog.

Gretchen Merritt

Gretchen Merritt

Gretchen Merritt, Development Director

English/Language Arts BA

A Bethel University alumnus, Gretchen has held numerous roles in the nonprofit sector from executive director to development director for the last 15 years. She has experience with fundraising, friendraising, grantsmanship, board development, public relations, leadership development and organizational management. She has worked with national and international nonprofits serving teens, refugees and victims of trafficking. In her 10 years of development management, Gretchen has worked with many CRM softwares and platforms including Salesforce and eTapestry to maximize strategy and donor relationships. On her days off, Gretchen loves spending time with her family, volunteering with high school students, and sipping on a cold Starbucks beverage.

Caroline Swinford

Caroline Swinford

Caroline Swinford, Development Coordinator and Communications Specialist, Grant Writer

English Literature BA

Following her graduation from Whitworth University in 2014, Caroline joined the nonprofit sector in her native state of Colorado as a project manager and social media coordinator. At JMA, Caroline specializes in database management, donor stewardship, and communications. Caroline is an info-tech guru. She thrives in data strategy and management and is a competent user of CRM/fundraising softwares and platforms, including Raiser’s Edge and other Blackbaud products like eTapestry. In her spare time, Caroline makes pilgrimages to the Twin Cities’ independent book stores, attends live storytelling shows and theater, and explores the riverfront on her road bike.

Sarah Wennerberg

Sarah Wennerberg

Sarah Wennerberg, Senior manager of quality assurance

Environmental Biology, MA/Educational Leadership Studies MA

Upon college graduation, Sarah became the evaluation specialist/internal grants manager for a Children’s Mental Health/Family Services Collaborative in west central Minnesota. There, she dove into the world of grant writing and reporting, building relationships with collaborative partners, and driving outcome-based programs. After a stint as a stay-at-home mom to her three children, Sarah joined JMA to manage the grant development process and ensure a great product. During her non-JMA time, Sarah hangs out with her husband and kids, walks, reads, and occasionally starts a crochet project (but does not necessarily finish). She also volunteers whenever possible for church, school, recreational sports teams, and slams a lot of coffee.

Craig Murphy

Craig Murphy

Craig Murphy, Accounting Consulting

Craig Murphy, graduate of Mankato State University, with honors, is a skilled financial expert with over 30 years of experience working at RSM US LLC (formerly McGladery, LLC) where he became a Managing Partner of the Upper Midwest Financial Institutions practice, from which he retired in September of 2017. His specialties include Audit related issues, bookkeeping, general accounting matters and mergers and acquisitions advice. Craig assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer at JMA in 2006. Craig is best able to work with clients on their ongoing accounting questions and issues and related financial management needs. When not at work Craig enjoys his wife’s home cooked meals (Craig also enjoys cooking) and long walks with his wife and their three dogs Reagan, Stella and Millie, cheering on the Minnesota Vikings and traveling, including trips to Las Vegas and sunny beaches.

Jessica Sondreal

Jessica Sondreal

Jessica Sondreal, Graphic Designer

Business/Marketing BBA and Art Direction Diploma

Jessica Sondreal brings over 10 years of branding, graphic design, and marketing experience. She is a graduate from St. Norbert College with a Bachelor in Business Administration and holds a diploma in Art Direction from Miami Ad School. Jessica is highly creative and well versed in print and digital work. Her experience includes running a high-end stationary business, working in various creative and marketing roles on both the client and agency side, and working in brand design at General Mills. When not at JMA, Jessica stays busy with her little ones and loves throwing the occasional pinterest-worthy party for family and friends.

Ashley Patel

Ashley Patel

Ashley Patel, Development Manager

Social Work MA

Since attending Gustavus Adolphus College for her Bachelor’s and the University of Chicago for her Master’s, Ashley has held a variety of fundraising positions that have allowed her to engage individual donors, congregations, corporations, and foundations in giving. She brings over 6 years of nonprofit experience, one of which was spent working with Roma children and their families in Hungary as a volunteer through the ELCA. Her other nonprofit experiences have provided her with opportunities to work with diverse populations here in the US including formerly homeless adults, taxi drivers, children, teens, immigrants, refugees, and congregational leaders. When she is out of the office, Ashley enjoys baking, running, and spending time with family.

Shannon McNamara

Shannon McNamara

Shannon McNamara, Development & Office Coordinator

International Studies BS

Following her graduation from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Shannon spent two years serving with nonprofits through AmeriCorps. It was during her time with Playworks Minnesota that Shannon found her passion for nonprofit development work. After her AmeriCorps service terms, she went on to work for the owner of a start-up, for-profit company in Saint Paul. In her free time, you can find Shannon on the rugby pitch, traveling or cooking vegan food.

Susan Thurston-Harmerski

Susan Thurston-Harmerski

Susan Thurston-Harmerski, Grant Writer


Rachel K. N. Holmes

Rachel K. N. Holmes

Rachel K. N. Holmes, Grant Writer

Urban Studies and Spanish Language and Literature B.A.

A Girl Scout from a young age, Rachel has been selling cookies and raising money as long as she can remember. In college, she raised money for Engineers Without Boarders and her crew team. After graduating from Marquette University with a B.A. in Urban Studies and Spanish Language and Literature, she joined the Peace Corps and served two years in northern Paraguay. Gaining her first taste of “official” grant writing for her host community and a youth photography program. Upon return from South America, Rachel was the program director for a bilingual pediatric wellness program for families at Hennepin County Medical Center. She moved on to patient engagement and community relations at a mid-sized hospital in upstate New York. Now living in southeastern Germany, Rachel is finishing her Masters of Public Affairs with a concentration in Public Management through Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. When she isn’t writing grants or doing school work, Rachel loves to cook and eat, travel, hike, run, teach BodyPump, and speak Spanish.

Claire Huber

Claire Huber

Claire Huber, Grant Writer & Communications Specialist

Comparative Politics and Government B.A.

An alumnus of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, Claire spent the summer of her junior year in college in Capetown, South Africa, working for an education non-profit. It was through this experience that she found her way to the non-profit sector, writing grants and communications materials for internationally focused non-profits in Seattle for two years upon graduating. She moved back to her hometown of Minneapolis, where she continued developing her grant writing and communications skills at a youth-development non-profit. When she isn’t in the office, you can find Claire at choir rehearsal, playing volleyball or badminton, lounging in a hammock around the lakes, walking her dog, or bargain hunting at flea markets!

Kelley Kozulla

Kelley Kozulla

Kelley Kozulla

Kelley is a student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where she is currently working towards her degree in Actuarial Science. On her days off from JMA, she enjoys travelling, going to new restaurants, playing with her puppy Charlie, and spending time with family and friends.

Jenna Valentini

Jenna Valentini

Jenna Valentini, Grant Writer

Communications B.A.

With a passion for writing, editing, and research, Jenna Valentini completed a bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in culture from the University of North Dakota and a certificate in the editing sequence from the University of California-Berkeley. She has over four years of experience in written and verbal cross-functional communication, and she occasionally volunteers her time to editing for referrals and assisting college students with research and writing assignments. In addition to these skills and her love of helping others, she is motivated to work closely with nonprofits as JMA’s Grant Administrator and Writer. In her spare time, Jenna enjoys being with her friends and family, golfing, reading, drinking coffee, and weekends at her cabin.

Nik Polovenko

Nik Polovenko

Nik Polovenko, IT & Web Development Specialist

James Tran

James Tran

James Tran, IT & Web Development Specialist

Our Pets

Our Pets