Matt Smriga – Board Chair
Managing Director of Outreach, Educators 4 Excellence
Matt has more than 6 years of experience in grassroots organizing and issue based advocacy. He holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Juris Doctor from the Hamline University School of Law. Previously, Matt has served as the Director of Campus Organizing for the Minnesota State University Student Association and, most recently, as the the Legislative Advocacy Coordinator for the University of Minnesota. In addition to CBT, Matt teachers a college and career readiness program to Minneapolis Public School students every spring.
Business Partner, Integrity Data
Daphne Brown is a community leader that promotes change via knowledge, teaching and providing resources to those in need. Brown is a Business Partner with Integrity Data (DBA: ImaniSolutionsAffordableCareAct). Brown has earned several Master of Arts Degrees (Dual Master of Arts in Management/Health and Human Services, Master of Arts in Human Development/Curriculum Development) from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Metropolitan State University.
Additionally, she is working to complete a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Brown has also worked as a Business and Health Care Management professor at various colleges and universities. She is looking forward to doing the work necessary to help close the academic achievement gap and build the needed character in youth for academic, social and career success.
David A. Collier
BeMore Mentor Project Coordinator, The Family Partnership
David Collier is an advocate for change. He brings years of experience and expertise in the social development of disadvantaged youth. He is currently coordinating a project that is focused on stopping the cultural norm of intimate partner violence that exists in the African-American community. The goal is to increase the number of young men who are taking an active role in the promotion of healthy and safe relationships. He also has a passion for basketball skill develop, so he founded Twin Cities PACE in 2014.
Data and Evaluation Specialist, Office of Public Charter Schools at Pillsbury United Communities
Emily Edstrom is currently a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, concentrating in education policy. She is an Innovation in Education Fellow with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and is receiving hands-on authorizing experience at Pillsbury United Communities. Emily received her B.A. in History from Beloit College and has over six years of experience in education and youth programming, with a focus on underserved communities. She also volunteers as a Racial Justice Facilitator with the YWCA and is looking forward to strengthening CBT’s efforts in Minneapolis.
Shelf Management Specialist, Supervalu Inc.
Jeff Hagen has worked in the consumer packaged goods industry for the past 7 year. His background includes sales, business development, and project management. Currently Jeff is responsible for implementing Supervalu’s retail strategies at all new construction and refurbished independent grocers in the Midwest. Jeff received his degree from the University of Minnesota where he was also a member of the Men’s Basketball team.
Owner, Early Risers Day School
Liz Harris has over nine years of corporate experience in investments and treasury operations. After her first son was born she left the corporate world to open up an in home day school for children 6 months to 12 years old. She currently run two in home day schools and is looking to expand further. Liz believes every child deserves the best education and opportunities that can be offered.
Chief Financial Officer, DeLaSalle High School
Brian Lynch is the Chief Financial Officer at DeLaSalle High School, a college-preparatory high school located in Minneapolis. He received his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas and his MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Brian has spent time in both the non-profit sector and public sector, working in both finance and operations. He was one of the founding members of CBT, and is very excited to contribute to the future success of CBT as a Board member of the Minneapolis branch.
Ali Sakher – College Liaison
Ali Sakher was born in Canada and lived in Raleigh, North Carolina for several years before moving to Woodbury, Minnesota. She is a rising junior at the University of Minnesota, and hope to go into health care after graduation. In her free time she enjoy running, reading, volunteering, and spending time with my family and friends.
Senior Director of Digital Strategy & Planning, UnitedHealthcare
Jay Sivasailam is a Senior Director of Digital Strategy & Planning at UnitedHealthcare. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota and his M.B.A. from Capella University. Jay has volunteered for a number of non-profit organizations as a tutor, mentor and youth chess coach and is looking forward to helping CBT develop its Minneapolis branch.
Human Resources and Benefits Manager, Fafinski Mark & Johnson, P.A.
Moira Webster-Larranaga is the sole HR practitioner in an Eden Prairie law firm. She has more than 16 years of progressive Human Resource experience and holds a Master’s of Business Administration in Human Resource Management from the University of St. Thomas. She is also certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a Society for Human Resources Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). Previously, Moira was the Human Resource Director for Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, and is currently an active volunteer with Minnesota Public Radio and Gilda’s Club Twin Cities in addition to CBT.
Kelly Dufour – Consultant
Kelly Dufour is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota, and is now working in marketing at Caribou Coffee. Kelly has always been involved in the community and was drawn to the uniqueness of CBT – she worked as the Founding Site Coordinator to launch programming in Minneapolis and is not working as a consultant, helping to grow the program and increase its breadth and depth in Minneapolis. Kelly loves dogs, traveling, watching sports, staying active, and reading.