Board of Directors


The WeMN Board of Directors is comprised of eight members who each serve a two-year term. WeMN board members are volunteers and contribute to the organization in their area of expertise. Members are nominated to serve by other board members or members of the organization. WeMN board members are voted in by the current WeMN Board of Directors.

Amalia Moreno-Damgaard - WeMN Founder, President & CEO


Amalia's love affair with food and culture started in Guatemala. As an adult, Amalia immigrated to the United States and had a first career in international banking.  After earning an executive masters degree in international business from St. Louis University, she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu and the National Speakers Association.  She also published her first book and is now working on the second one.

Along the way, she founded Amalia LLC -Latin Gourmet with a Cultural Flair (a national certified woman-owned business enterprise and consultancy firm) to help businesses develop a broader understanding and appreciation of Latin cultures through healthy gourmet cuisine.  Since then, she has been effectively connecting brands to the American and Hispanic markets through food and culture as a bilingual spokesperson, writer, professional speaker, media personality, and delivering culinary experiences to many Fortune 100-1,000 companies, nonprofits, historical societies, universities and schools, and others through custom events. 

During her second career, Amalia has supported the community through donations of her time and talent and as founder and mentor at WeMN. She serves on the board of the American Diabetes Association-MN, Common Hope, and Depart Smart.  She writes for Minnesota Business Magazine, Revue, and El Minnesota de Hoy and is a regular contributor on local TV, especially at KSTP's Twin Cities Live.  In recognition of her work, Amalia has received 9 first-prize literary awards for her first book, the Latino American Today Hispanic Heritage Award, the Depart Smart Champion Award, an ACG MN Bold Awards nomination, and was named a finalist at NSA-MN Speaker Program Strides and at TeamWomenMN WaveMaker Awards for Community Impact.

Amalia Moreno-Damgaard
952-270-4543
Amalia@AmaliaLLC.com
AmaliaLLC.com
LinkedIn: Amalia Moreno-Damgaard 
Facebook @AmaliaLatinGourmet 

Jenn Espinosa-Goswami - Secretary

Jenn Espinosa Goswami

Jenn Espinosa-Goswami is a former fat girl turned accidental health coach and motivational speaker. She inspires moms to achieve body bliss in just minutes a day using their innate power to transform instead of products or gym memberships. 

A graduate of the Augsburg Master's Degree in Leadership program, Jenn is passionate about creating opportunities for self-development in every day ways. A former Toastmasters International officer and mentor, she believes that knowledge is useless unless it is shared with others, either through her speaking programs, articles, or videos. Jenn is excited to serve on the WeMN board. 

Jenn's 100 pound weight loss story was featured on First for Women, Half Size Me, Diets in Review and she has contributed articles to Women's Health, Spry Living and Prevention. She is most proud of her two beautiful daughters, and prefers bean burritos to burgers. When not speaking or coaching clients, she loves to dance in her living room, lift heavy weights, travel, and read 8 books every month.

Jenn Espinosa-Goswami
651-214-8179
Jegoswam@bweightless.com
Www.weightlesschronicles.com
Twitter: @jegoswam
Facebook @bweightless

Nikki Abramson - Programming & Events Director

Nikki Abramson

Nikki Abramson is passionate, inspires others, and helps others make positive changes along their life’s journey. Her company, Renew Hope, offers inspirational speaking, life coaching, workshops, and performance-based teaching.

Nikki is the author of the book “I Choose Hope: Overcoming Challenges with Faith and Positivity” and "Hope for Today." She is also an international adoptee who battles several rare medial conditions and brings hope to the world. Her one-woman show, “No Limits,” debuts in August 2016 clearly depicts these life challenges and demonstrates that there truly are no limits or boundaries to life.

Combining life stories, personal experiences, teaching strategies, motivation, and encouragement, Nikki engages and captivates audiences to think about their own life and how they can renew hope. Her presentation comes through the lens of both a teacher and performer. Earning her BA in elementary and early childhood education from Bethel University, Nikki teaches others how to live in the moment and how to be grateful for each moment.

She is active in her community through the advisory council for CaringBridge.org, board chair of the Resource Committee of Adopted Adults, youth coach for her church, and Mentoring in Business Leadership through Bethel. Nikki also tutors and teaches acting/improve/choreographing through various theatre companies including Upstream Arts and Bloomington Civic Theatre. 

Nikki Abramson
Renew Hope 
nikki@nikkiabramson.com
nikkiabramson.com
Twitter: 
@nikabramson
LinkedIn: Nikki Abramson
Facebook: Nikki Abramson
612-860-5380

Sherryln Thompson - Hospitality Director

Sherrylyn Thompson Highly Favored Events

Sherryln is the owner and chief event officer at Highly Favored Events, LLC.  After 14 years of working in a corporate environment for a Fortune 200 company, she grew her part time event business into a full-time, full service event and wedding planning company which services nonprofits, government agencies, companies (big and small), brides, and those just wanting to celebrate life’s successes.  Sherryln prides herself on embracing the details while staying focused and calm under pressure.  She loves meeting new people and giving them the event of their dreams.

Sherryln has a BBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Oklahoma and a certificate in Meeting and Event Management from Dakota County Technical College.  She recently completed coursework to become a travel agent so that she can assist her clients with all of their event related travel needs.

When she isn’t working, Sherryln enjoys coaching the youth step team at her church and enjoying life with her husband and 3 kids.

Sherryln Thompson
www.highlyfavoredevents.com
sherryln@highlyfavoredevents.com
763-443-4332

Jennifer Pollard - Membership Director

Jennifer Pollard

Jenn is passionate for organizational psychology and creating healthy workplace cultures.  She has nearly 20 years of business experience and began ConnecTTall Resource Group where she is owner and chief consultant to connect people, profits, and perceptions for organizations.  CRG makes these connections through organizational development consulting, human resources consulting, training and development, and change and leadership coaching.  

She carries a skill for communications and business not only through her undergraduate degree, but has also furthered this expertise with her master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational leadership.  As an I/O psychologist, Jenn is specialized in assessments and is certified in the Conflict Dynamic Profile as well as Management Research Associates’ personality profile instrument.  She is also a Certified Change Management Practitioner of Prosci. 

Jenn is excited to be joining the WeMN board and connecting with other phenomenal women entrepreneurs and she also volunteers with the Minnesota Psychological Association as chair of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award Committee.  When not working or volunteering, Jenn enjoys spending quality time with her family along with training (or being trained by) her Australian Shepherd dog, Claire.

Jennifer J. Pollard, PhD
Consultant, ConnecTTall Resource Group, LLC
jennpollard26@outlook.com
www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferjpollard
(612) 756-8458

Claire Grasse - Treasurer & CFO


Claire Grasse found WeMN through her search to get connected to other brave and impressive business women in the Twin Cities community. She currently works as an Assurance Manager at Ernst and Young, LLP (EY) and serves large and small clients in the financial services and banking industries. She is passionate about identifying opportunities for women to benefit and prosper through connections across industries and specialties, often through networking, teaming and peer advisory. In her role at EY, she serves on the steering committee for the Professional Women’s Network, the UNINY group (LGBTQ+), and is an active proponent and participant in the Entrepreneur of the Year program. Furthermore she serves as a mentor, peer advisor and counselor to peers and employees at EY.

Claire obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She holds her active Certified Public Accountant’s license in the state of Minnesota.

Claire joined the WeMN Board of Directors after meeting some of the inspiring other board members and members of the organization. She looks forward to learning the tips and tricks of breaking into the world of entrepreneurship and taking her ideas to the next level! In the meantime she enjoys sharing her corporate-world perspectives with members of WeMN. Outside of the group, Claire pursues community engagement through participation in Junior Achievement, the Aliveness Project, and volunteers throughout the year with a local women’s shelter. 

Claire Grasse
CPA, FSO Assurance Senior, Ernst & Young
https://www.linkedin.com/in/clgrasse/
claire.grasse@ey.com
651-278-1277

Kianna Notermann - Social Media Director

 

Kianna Notermann is a social media specialist and photographer. She is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in Business Marketing and Communication Studies. After discovering her entrepreneurial spirit in her junior year of college, Kianna is now working towards a freelance career in social media strategy, advertising, and coaching working with B2B and B2C clients in a variety of industries.

Outside of work, Kianna is passionate about social justice issues after volunteering for her university’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity and Feed My Starving Children. Kianna also loves music - having attended over 100 concerts. She spent 3 years booking concerts for local and regional artists. Kianna is excited to be part of an organization full of like-minded, inspiring women. In fact, it was women business owners who gave her the courage to start her own business.

Kianna Notermann, SMS
kjnotermann@gmail.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kiannanotermann/
651-757-5832


Linda Ruhland - Marketing Director


Linda Ruhland, MBA, is a business owner, speaker and consultant. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with dozens of employers and entrepreneurs. She helped them improve their brand presence while helping them with many business objectives including attracting and keeping new customers, employees and strategic alliances.

She founded two successful companies: SimpletoSucceed.com, a website marketing company, and Spirit of Success LLC, which produces success platforms for personal, professional and business development. 

Ruhland uses her 30 years of corporate and small business experience to share ideas for accelerating success while having fun making it happen. She also produced and edited "Amazing Workplace: Creating the Conditions that Inspire Success."

Linda Ruhland, MBA
spiritofbusinesssuccess.com
spiritofentrepreneurialsuccess.com
ljruhland@gmail.com
Twitter: @spiritosuccess
651-230-0905


Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota


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