Staff

Liz Kuoppala, Executive Director

Email: Kuoppala (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org

Liz has been at the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless in various capacities since 2001. She brings a clear appreciation for the importance of statewide organizing in making systemic change.  Before joining MCH, Liz did brief stints as a locomotive engineer in the mines and as a staffer in Senator Paul Wellstone’s D.C. office. She is the 2008 recipient of the League of Minnesota Cities’ Women in City Government Outstanding Leadership Award for her work in leadership development while serving as an Eveleth City Councilor (2007-2010), the 2009 recipient of the Ann Bancroft Dream Maker Award for Leadership and Achievement for her work in recruiting and training rural women to run for elected office, the 2011 recipient of the Simpson Housing Services Champion Award for her advocacy work.

Liz holds a certificate in Sociology from Reisjarven Opisto in Finland, a B.S. in Chemistry from St. Cloud State University and a Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In her spare time, Liz enjoys hiking, reading, and skiing. Liz lives in Moorhead.

Kenza Hadj-Moussa, Communications & Development Director

Email: kenza (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org

LinkedInHeadshot

Before joining MCH, Kenza worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services and St. Stephen’s Human Services.  She serves on the social change fund committee of Headwaters Foundation for Justice and serves on the board of Our Saviour’s Community Services and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Kenza holds a Master’s in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and is a certified MBTI practitioner. Her hobbies include improv, piano, and documenting her cats. She is lives in St. Paul.

Dan Kitzberger, Policy Director

Email: Dan (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org

Dan has experience as a researcher, organizer, and advocate in a variety of nonprofit organizations including the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Association for Nonsmokers, and Neighborhood Housing Services. Before joining the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Dan worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives as a legislative assistant and constituent services specialist. Dan serves as the Vice Chair of the City of Richfield Planning Commission. He holds a Master’s in Advocacy & Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota Duluth. As an undergraduate, Dan was a starting linebacker on the UMD football team. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. In his free time, he can be found fishing, working out, or woodworking. Originally from New Ulm, Dan lives in Richfield.

Katherine Wagoner, Director of Member Engagement

Email: katherine (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org

Katherine took a class in 2004 called Homelessness: Critical Issues for Policy and Practice which included touring shelters, volunteering, and exploring public policy.  From then on, she knew she wanted to be an advocate for ending homelessness.  Katherine worked with low-income families through the Minnesota Family Investment Program for seven years before becoming the director of the Affirmative Options Coalition in 2011.Katherine holds a BA in Social Science and a Masters in Public and Nonprofit Management, both from Metropolitan State University.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, camping, and watching her daughter play softball. She lives with her family in Coon Rapids.

 

Val Strukel, Northeast Organizer

Email: Val (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org

Val worked as Basic Needs Program Manager at the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) which serves the entire arrowhead region.  She was retired for less than a day when we scooped her up!  At AEOA, Val supervised the homeless programs: shelter, prevention, and services.  She is past co-chair of Heading Home St. Louis County and the Rural Housing Coalition. In addition to her lifelong work as a service provider and advocate, Val brings personal experience of having fled domestic violence with two small children and no place to live.

 

Rhonda Otteson, South West Organizer

Email: Rhonda (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org

Rhonda Otteson is the Director of the Link, a small, faith-based non-profit based in Spicer, MN.  Before coming to the Link, Rhonda worked at Heartland Community Action Agency to implement policies to meet the needs of low-income citizens in her community, most recently with programs serving households at-risk of or experiencing homelessness. Rhonda has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and graduate coursework in advocacy and political leadership.  Rhonda brings a dedication to working with low-income people which is rooted in her personal experience with poverty as a child and young parent. She was the first Minnesota recipient of the Sargent Shriver Achievement Award for overcoming poverty and giving back to her community.

2013-2014 Board of Directors

Heidi Johnson McAllister, President
Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness (DCEH)
heidi@dceh.org

Janine Wenholz, Vice President
People Serving People
jwenholz@peopleservingpeople.org 

Jennifer Peterson, Treasurer
City of Cottage Grove Council Member
councilmemberjen@aol.com

La Jeanna Fuller Safe Zone Drop-In Center

Kathy Sauve Lutheran Social Service, Youth Services

Senta Leff Wilder Foundation

ThaoMee Xiong Minnesota Housing Partnership

Jen Arzaus Division of Indian Works 

Lorrie Janatopolous Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency

Damon Dranchek General Mills

Emily McGann MN State Bar Association

Mike Nystuen United Health Group