Liz Kuoppala, Executive Director Kuoppala (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Kenza Hadj-Moussa, Communications & Development Director Kenza (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Dan Kitzberger, Policy Director Dan (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Katherine Wagoner, Director of Membership Engagement Katherine (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Val Strukel, Northeast Organizer Val (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Rhonda Otteson, South Central Organizer Rhonda (at) mnhomelesscoalition (dot) org
Liz Kuoppala, Executive Director
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.
Kenza Hadj-Moussa, Communications & Development Director
Kenza became passionate about homelessness while spending a semester in Washington, D.C. Before joining the Coalition, she worked as the education coordinator at St. Stephen’s Human Services and for the MN Department of Human Services.
Kenza holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Kenza serves on the social change fund committee of Headwaters Foundation for Justice, Board of Directors of Our Saviour’s Community Services, and is a certified MBTI practitioner. She is lives in Minneapolis.
Dan Kitzberger, Policy Director
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
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
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
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.
2012-2013 Board of Directors
Heidi Johnson McAllister, President
Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness (DCEH)
Jennifer Peterson, Treasurer
City of Cottage Grove Council Member
Life House, Inc.
Minneapolis Public Schools
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
La Jeanna Fuller
Safe Zone Drop-In Center
St. Stephen’s Human Services
Lutheran Social Service, Youth Services
Mary Ulland Evans
Three Rivers Community Action, Inc.
Greater Twin Cities United Way
Division of Indian Works
People Serving People