Common Ground

Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Common Ground > News > Minneapolis Parks Foundation Names Sarah Duniway Chair of the Board, Welcomes Seven New Directors

Minneapolis Parks Foundation Names Sarah Duniway Chair of the Board, Welcomes Seven New Directors

Zakaria Aden, Kelsey Arneson Metzger, Yuen (Daniel) Cheng, Matt Duditch, Michael A. Shelton, Becka Thompson, and Karen Trouba start their terms this month

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation today announced that its Board of Directors welcomed seven new members: Zakaria Aden, Global Deals Strategy Manager, VISA, Kelsey Arneson Metzger, Director of Strategy, Prestige Beverage Group, Yuen (Daniel) Cheng, Assistant Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Matthew Duditch, Business Line Chief Risk Officer & SVP-Operational Risk, U.S. Bank, Michael A. Shelton, Outreach Coordinator, Twin Cities Rise, and Karen Trouba, SVP, Bank of America,have each started three-year terms; Becka Thompson, Commissioner-District 2, has been appointed as an ex officio member representing the Minneapolis Park Board of Commissioners. Sarah Duniway, who is an Attorney with Lathrop GPM LLP, has been elected Chair and will serve a two-year term in the role. Other officers elected by the Board are Keith Holloman (Vice Chair), Senior Clinical Research Specialist, Medtronic, Karin Birkeland (Secretary), community leader, and Nima Ahmadi (Treasurer), Senior Director, Digital Products, Cardiovascular Systems.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is an independent donor-supported non-profit that works closely with public partners and in collaboration with the community to envision and deliver transformative parks and public spaces. Founded in 2003, the Parks Foundation is the primary philanthropic partner to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and has raised more than $26 million for transformative parks projects in Minneapolis. In 2021, the Parks Foundation celebrated the grand opening of two Mississippi Riverfront projects – Water Works and the Overlook at 26th Ave N – made possible by its $18.1 million RiverFirst Capital Campaign.

“We are honored that this new class of directors brings their tremendous professional expertise, lived experience, and dedication to Minneapolis and the communities we serve,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director, Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

The Parks Foundation champions equitable parks investments across Minneapolis. Since 2020, the Parks Foundation has been a part of Reimagining the Civic Commons, a national effort to advance social, economic, and environmental goals through public spaces. In 2021, the Parks Foundation made the premiere round of annual People for Parks Fund grants, distributing $35,000 to community-grown and equity-aligned projects and programs that spanned the city and the seasons.

About the 2022 Parks Foundation Board of Directors
In addition to Duniway, the executive committee members, and the new directors, the 27-member Parks Foundation Board also includes the following members serving continuing terms: Stuart Ackerberg, CEO, Ackerberg Group; Dan Avchen, ED of Strategic Growth, HGA; Sue Bennett, community leader; Dorothy Bridges, SVP (retired), Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota; Joe Gibbons, SVP-Private Wealth Management of Gibbons, Blasko & Associates, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management; Jay Halvorson, community leader; Pahoua Yang Hoffman, SVP-Government & Community Relations, HealthPartners; Erick Garcia Luna, Director of Regional Outreach, Federal Reserve Bank of MinnesotaAngelica Klebsch, Senior Advisor on Special Projects & Public Policy, Office of the Minnesota Attorney General; Mary McCarthy, community leader; Paul Reyelts, CFO (retired), Valspar; Heath Rudduck, Chief Creative Officer, Padilla; Jasmine Russell, Founder & CEO, Monicat Data; and Heidi Schmidt, Founder, Field Study Creative LLC. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Superintendent Al Bangoura also serves as an ex officio Director, as does the Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation mission is to transform lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. Since 2003, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation has raised more than $26 million for transformative parks and programming in Minneapolis Parks by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. Today, the Parks Foundation champions equitable investments in Minneapolis parks with Reimagining the Civic Commons, the North Commons regional vision, and the RiverFirst Initiative, through which Water Works and Great Northern Greenway River Link projects were made possible. The Parks Foundation also supports community-based parks projects with the People for Parks Fund, and explores the intersection of public space with the key issues of our time by presenting the Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. Learn more and become a supporter at MplsParksFoundation.org.

Pictured (clockwise from top left): Cheng, Shelton, Aden, Arneson Metzger, Trouba, Duditch, Thompson.

YOUR DONATION helps ensure the parks in our city remain accessible, equitable and serving everyone.