New MCH Board Members in 2021

In 2020, the Minnesota Coalition for the Homelessness welcomed five new board members. The board also elected its officers for 2021:  Andy Pomroy will serve as board chair, Robert DeChellis will serve as vice-chair, Lucy Zander will serve as treasurer, and Pam Johnson will continue to serve as secretary.

Join us in welcoming our newest board members to MCH:

  • Naima Farah
  • Scott Redd
  • Lucy Zanders
  • Erica Valliant
  • Robert DeChellis
Read a little about them below! 

Naima Farah
I am dedicated to promoting the welfare and advancement for all and am committed to social justice, equity, and impact of the nonprofit sector.  With over a decade of experience in the nonprofit social service sector, I have a depth of knowledge in nonprofit program management, program development, implementation, evaluation, managing impact, and bringing equity to the center of my work.

Among many of my equity and justice passion work of mine includes increasing the accessibility and affordability towards dignified housing and housing justice for all and for that I am thrilled to join the Board of Directors of Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless (MCH).

As an innovator and community organizer for meaningful impact, I am committed to contributing to systemic change while leading with intentionality, purpose, and humility.

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Scott Redd 
Scott Redd has over 25 years of service in the nonprofit/public sector. Redd is a mission-driven, data-informed, people-inspired leader. His background includes affordable housing, education, diversity, equity and inclusion. Redd serves as the Senior Director of Programs and Services for NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. Prior to joining NorthPoint, Redd served as Executive Director of St. Stephen’s Human Services, an organization that seeks to end homelessness. Redd has also served as the Chief Operating Officer for Aeon, Executive Director of Family and Community Engagement for Minneapolis Public Schools, and Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity at MNSCU. Redd earned his BS in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota.

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Lucy Zanders
Lucy Zanders has worked seven years as Executive Director at Theresa Living Center, where she had previously served on the Board for 5 years. Theresa Living Center provides Transitional Housing in a residential setting and rapid rehousing in scattered sites for families exiting homelessness.  Both programs provide case management and an affordable housing option.  Through her work at Theresa Living Center she is a part of the Heading Home Ramsey Continuum of Care.

She is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN with a degree in Accounting and finance, major studies in political science, and speech and theater. She has over 43 years of financial and program work for companies such as Control Data, Gould Battery, Rogers Cable system, Anchor Hocking and The Gillette Company. Lucy has worked in the non-profit realm as Community Resource Organizer for -The Link (Youth Housing Services), the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches (Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul) – as Interim Executive Director of Finance/Administration and Program Director for Congregations in Community.

Lucy has volunteered for the Minnesota State Baptist Convention Youth Department, Children’s and Youth Ministry of her church, Reading and math tutor with St. Paul Public Schools, Junior Achievement of America, Board Member for Family Values For Life, Advisory Board for Globe School of Accounting Program, Theresa Living Center Board member, Volunteers of America, Women’s Recovery Center and Red Wing Juvenile Correctional Facility.  She serves on the Deacon Ministry at her church, as a part of the Sunday School Discipleship team, and volunteers as the community organizer for MLK Holiday breakfast at Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul.

She is a wife of 43 years to Otis Zanders and the mother of one adult daughter Katina Walker– no official grandchildren, but a mentor to many.

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Erica Valliant
Erica Valliant is an organizer, advocate, and mother in Saint Paul, MN. She works full-time at People Serving People -the largest and most comprehensive emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Minnesota and a dedicated leader in homelessness prevention, where she is responsible for managing a core team of stakeholders in a learning process and partnership, exploring the problem of family homelessness that overwhelmingly impacts African American and Native American families. She is a 3rd-year member of the Regional Expert Network: a table of community stakeholders with lived experience of homelessness dedicated to ending homelessness in MN. Ms. Valliant is a part of the Access & Equity Dept. Team at the  Science Museum of Minnesota, where she continues to support projects. She is also a parent organizer with Education Partnerships Coalition, a grantee through the StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Community Challenge Strategic Initiatives Fund. Her professional background includes financial services, insurance, and telecommunications. Ms. Valliant graduated from the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s Neighborhood Leadership Program and Community Equity Program. In 2018, Ms. Valliant received an Unsung Hero award presented by Minnesota Communities Caring for Children. She is a mother of five and a Chicago native who has lived in Minnesota for over 15 years.

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Robert DeChellis

Robert DeChellis has spent his entire career dedicated to providing products and solutions through advisers that secure and improve the financial outcomes for their clients. He founded Bonsai, LLC in 2019 as a way to harness his over 30 years of experience to further enhance the delivery of financial advice. He was Chairman of the Insured Retirement Institute, served as Vice-Chair of the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation, and is now the Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. Before founding Bonsai, Robert was President and Chief Strategist for the Allianz Exchange, a division of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. In this role, he was responsible for uniting strategic relationships, technology, and intellectual capital to identify opportunities to deliver better retirement solutions and thought leadership. Prior to this, he was President and CEO of Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC. Robert has also held senior executive roles with Travelers Life and Annuities, Jackson National Life Distributors Inc., and Goldman Sachs. He earned a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Robert has had a passion to end homelessness since he was first exposed to it as a young professional in Chicago. His goal as a board member of MCH is to create a successful model in Minnesota that can then be applied throughout the United States.

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See our full list of board members here

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