Leadership and Staff
The IFO takes great pride in being a grassroots led organization. IFO leadership and staff support the union's efforts to implement strategies to protect academic freedom, promote equity and inclusion initiatives, advocate on matters affecting your wages and retirement, and ensure that high-quality state university education continues to be accessible and affordable.
Below, you will find details and contact information for the talented IFO leadership and staff.
Brent began his term as president on July 1, 2018. He is Co-Chair/Associate Professor of the Wellness and Human Performance Department at Southwest Minnesota State University.
email@example.com | (651) 227-8442 ext. 19
Contract Enforcement, Legal, and Equity Staff
Legal/Labor & Equity Director
Patrice Arseneault has represented faculty since 1998. Pat is responsible for contract interpretation and oversees contract enforcement. She also staffs the Negotiations Team and is the staff liaison to the IFO Feminist Issues and Contingent Appointments Committees.
Her involvement in contract negotiations and enforcement has made Pat an expert in interpretation and enforcement of the IFO contract.
Pat graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in 1990. Before her employment with the IFO, Pat served as General Counsel for Graphic Communications International Union, Local 1B, where she processed hundreds of grievances and participated in grievance mediation and contract negotiations.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (651) 227-8442 ext. 15
Legal/Labor & Equity OFFICEr
Kathryn Engdahl joined the IFO in January 2014, working on grievance and equity matters, and system employment policies and procedures. At the IFO, Kathryn brings to bear her vast knowledge and experience in discrimination law in representing faculty on equity matters. Kathryn has represented workers and labor unions for over 30 years. Before the IFO, Kathryn was a partner at an employment and labor law firm, representing labor unions and individual employees in discrimination matters.
Kathryn worked as a public school teacher before attending William Mitchell College of Law, graduating in 1985. She has been certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a Labor and Employment Law Specialist since 2011.
Kathryn’s areas of emphasis at the IFO are equity and discrimination issues and review of system-wide policies and procedures affecting faculty working conditions. Kathryn also is responsible for contract enforcement and serves as staff liaison to the LGBTQ+ Issues Committee and Disabilities Advocacy Committee.
Benefits & Equity Representative
Richard (“Dick”) Kaspari brings more than thirty years of legal experience representing unions, employees, and non-profit organizations to his work on behalf of the IFO and its members. In addition to other legal and strategic work, Dick serves as the IFO’s primary advocate and advisor on matters involving retirement benefits and salary equity.
Dick received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree from the University of Minnesota. He and his spouse, Carla Kjellberg, live in Minneapolis, where they are active in several community organizations.
Tiffany started in her paralegal position with the IFO in 2005. As a valued member of the IFO’s legal team, Tiffany tracks and maintains grievance files and provides legal research and other support services, and works with the Negotiating Team.
Tiffany came to the IFO from US Bancorp where she worked as a paralegal/legal records coordinator. She earned her B.A. summa cum laude, double-majoring in cultural anthropology and American Indian studies from the University of Minnesota and is a 2003 graduate of Hamline University School of Law.
Tiffany assists campus grievance officers and provides support services for many IFO committees. Tiffany also supports the Negotiations Team and serves as staff liaison to the Multicultural Issues Committee.
Public Affairs Staff
Director of Public affairs
Jonathan Bohn draws on more than ten years of experience in government and media relations to develop sound strategies to advocate for faculty. In the halls of the Capitol, Jonathan is regarded as a well-connected, smart strategist who has worked to raise public awareness of many issues, leading directly to legislative victories.
Before joining the IFO, Jonathan served as director of government and system relations for the Minnesota State University Student Association, now known as Students United. In addition to his role with the student association, Jonathan has worked as a public affairs consultant for nonprofits and trade associations.
Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University. He and his wife, Madeleine, live in Saint Paul and spend much of their free time competing in various sports and camping with their dogs.
email@example.com | (651) 227-8442 ext. 20
Membership and Organizing Staff
Director of Organizing and Training
Alanna has been a community activist for most of her life and a labor activist for the last ten years. Most recently, as Chief Steward and Area Vice President with Communications Workers of America, Local 7250 in the Sales and Marketing Support division, Alanna headed up grievance handling and mobilizing at the AT&T Business Collections office downtown Minneapolis. In 2015, she began creating and facilitating labor trainings in partnership with Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota and has recently started working in that capacity to engage the labor community in the work to end Mass Incarceration.
Alanna is a programming contributor and educator for the Underground Railroad Simulation Program with The Kamau Kambui Circle for Cultural Learning and directs the Mass Choir at St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Paul. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Anthony and their two children Ezra and Hadiyah.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (651) 227-8442 ext. 16
Davenia Porter served for 30 plus years working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector. Davenia has 25 plus years of administrative support experience, as well as experience working with people with diverse backgrounds. In those years Davenia has thrived in several roles include resource manager, event planning, teaming building, development, finance, fundraising, and business management.
Before Joining the IFO, Davenia was employed at Theresa Living Center a transitional program geared toward helping single parent families move from homelessness to stability and self-sufficiency. Davenia held many titles during her six years of employment at Theresa Living Center.
Davenia earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, and master’s in public administration from University of Phoenix. Davenia is very passionate about the homelessness issues in society and is very active in the community. Davenia will remain on the board of directors at the Theresa Living Center organization as part of the development, strategic planning, and program committees.
Controller & Membership Coordinator
Donna Blake has twenty plus years of accounting experience and has given the IFO outstanding audit reports for the past eleven years. She has also excelled at producing accurate budgets for the organization, implementing cost savings where applicable and maintaining an accurate membership database so that faculty get accurate and timely deductions taken from their paychecks. She is always vigilant in looking for ways to cut costs and lower expenses.
Prior to joining the IFO, Donna served for over seven years as Controller for two different public companies and sharpened her accounting skills while producing outstanding audit reports.
Donna earned her first bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Minnesota. She also earned a second bachelor’s degree in accounting from Metropolitan State University. She lives in Ramsey and enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren and supporting her local women’s shelter in freedom from domestic violence and sexual abuse of women and children.
Equity and Inclusion Staff
Kim Park Nelson
Equity Caucus coordinator
Kim is an Associate Professor of American Multicultural Studies at MN State University Moorhead.
Academic Affairs Staff
Academic Affairs coordinator
Becky is a Professor in the School of Communication, Writing, and the Arts at Metro State University.
Matt Hyle is a Professor of Economics at Winona State University.