William McNally, Executive Director
William's strong belief in the power of community, paired with his passion for hunger issues and his background in logistics and management, was the basis on which he founded Harvest Pack. His simple goal is to empower others to help make sure the world's food supply is fairly distributed, both internationally and locally. Facts tell him it is possible, and he doesn't plan to stop until it's been done, one meal at a time. William's on-the-ground experience is his on-going motivation. He has spent time living and working in Mexico. He has traveled to Belize to work with local communities who are in pursuit of better education and livelihoods. He has spent time in the Philippines, traveling to rural communities to sit with local people for lunches together - and directly experienced the impact food assistance provides. He's been to Native reservations, inner city shelters, and suburban food shelves right here in the United States. Each experience provides opportunities to learn directly about needs at the ground level. William received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Oregon. He also holds a pilot's license and is a licensed flight instructor. In his down time, William enjoys biking, tennis, serving on his local Rotary Board of Directors, visiting places other than Minnesota during the winter, and coaching his children in baseball.
Heather Swanson, Events Director
Heather brings to Harvest Pack over a decade of work in the non-profit world, having previously served as the Director of International Team Ministries and Director of Food Packaging at Youth Encounter for 11 years. She is passionate about building cross-cultural relationships, serving those in need, and working for peace and justice – passions which were established while working alongside fellow students in India, and nurtured and expanded through continued travel and connections in Africa, Asia, and South America. As Development Director with Harvest Pack, she is excited to develop and pursue new relationships with packaging partners – helping companies, schools, churches and community groups work together to serve their neighbors near and far by packaging healthy meals. She holds a BA in Music & French Education from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, and in her spare time she enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, and making music with her husband and two children.
Merry Grande, MPH, Assistant Director of Operations
Merry officially joined the Harvest Pack team in January 2017, but began her involvement as a volunteer a year earlier. Merry’s role with Harvest Pack focuses on funding development and bringing a public health perspective to Harvest Pack’s work with healthy food, equity, and community building. She is particularly interested in the health equity aspect of this humanitarian work as it relates to children and education. Merry earned her MPH in Public Health Practice from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and a BA in Biology from St. Olaf College, Minnesota. In addition to her work with Harvest Pack, Merry is actively involved with the Minnesota Public Health Association, and enjoys vegetarian cooking, sports, and travel with her two children and husband.
Doris Linnerooth, Financial Manager
Doris joined Harvest Pack in June 2014. She brings many years of accounting and office managerial experience from working in the private sector. Doris is excited to be working in the area of nonprofit. She has had the opportunity to participate in several packing events with Harvest Pack. Doris is a native of St. Paul and served in the U.S. Army Reserve . She has traveled extensively and tutored English in Southeast Asia. While traveling, Doris enjoys being part of the local culture. Doris is married with two Eagle Scouts, and enjoys camping, sailing, and exploring historical places. “I am excited to further the mission of Harvest Pack of putting healthy meals on every table.”
Matt Fulton, Community Champion
Matt Fulton has been involved in strengthening households, neighborhoods, and communities for over three decades as a City Manager serving several communities in the Twin Cities. Matt believes the strength of a community originates at the doorstep of every home and the availability of adequate food and nutrition is a fundamental ingredient of a stable household. As communities change and evolve, the increasing pressures of economic diversity and the difficulties of confronting the realities of poverty create real challenges and barriers to building and sustaining a resilient community. Matt has a Master’s degree in Public Administration and has served in numerous leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels throughout his career. Matt is proud and excited to be part of the Harvest Pack team and is committed to the important work of identifying opportunities for the community to become engaged in meal packaging events and, as a result, helping to build healthy communities…starting at the breakfast table.
Courtney Travis, Communication Maven
Courtney started with Harvest Pack as our marketing and communications intern in February 2017. After months of consistent quality work, we decided to make her a permanent addition to our team in January 2018. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Communications at the University of Minnesota in 2019. As someone who experienced homelessness for years of her childhood, Courtney has had a first-hand look at how food insecurity can affect families. Her history, coupled with her passion for helping others, has given her the desire to work toward making a difference. She intends to pursue a career in public relations and believes that taking part in Harvest Pack’s mission is the best way to start. Courtney is a proud praying mantis mom and loves to spend her free time gaming with her nephew.
Frances de Kooker, Operations Manager
Frances, an educator through training and experience, is excited to join Harvest Pack in a role that does a little bit of everything: event leading, contact development, and office/warehouse/event coordination (aka the Harmony Harvester). Frances’ undergraduate majors were Theology and Pastoral/Youth Ministry and graduate work was Education, all of which has provided a foundation and continues to foster her dedication to service and ministry. Some of her service experiences include summer camps, a year-long volunteer position in inner-city Baltimore, and mission trips both stateside and abroad. Frances is fueled by using her gifts to be of service to others and is why she is described by loved ones as having a servant’s heart. Frances is supported in her work at Harvest Pack by her encouraging family of husband, sons, parents, siblings, and neighbors.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to learn more about food insecurity and hunger and to passionately work to end it locally and world-wide.”
Brad Fleming, Partnerships Manager
Brad comes to Harvest Pack with several years of non-profit meal packaging experience. He uncovered this passion for empowering others while organizing a hunger project at his own church in South Carolina. He desires to serve where he can make a tangible difference in the lives of other people “on both sides of the funnel.” “Corporate team building from these events result in high employee satisfaction. Churches appreciate the multi-generational aspect of strengthening their congregations, while community groups enjoy coming together to help those in need.” Brad has acquired a blend of operational and business development experience and truly feels he was being prepared for this type of work. A graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, he holds a BBA in Business Management. A resident of Columbia, South Carolina, Brad resides with his wonderful wife, Dana. His daughter, Lauren, works for WSPA TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina. “Some of my greatest joy comes from providing an exciting, fun, serving opportunity. I have never seen a volunteer with a frown on their face while packaging meals!”
Sophie Klein, Ringleader
Sophie's passion for social justice and equity brought her to the Harvest Pack team in February of 2019, where she has since led many food packing events and encouraged university involvement with Harvest Pack. She is enthusiastic to be part of a team that works to solve such a complex issue in a way that is always thoughtful, smart, and empathetic. She will graduate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in December 2020 with a degree in English and Sociology, and hopes to pursue a career in law. In her free time Sophie enjoys playing the guitar and is a member of U of M's Gold Standard Show Choir.
Nathan Johnston, Partnerships Manager
Nathan is coming to Harvest Pack with a decade of service and sales expertise in the financial sector. His commitment to service excellence and desire to see his community thrive make him a welcome addition to the team. In addition to working with several of the largest financial organizations in the country he has several years of experience with crisis response and corporate communications with a railroad company. Nathan is a songwriter, scuba diver, nature lover, and immigrant advocate; providing basic financial guidance to those seeking assistance. Prior to joining the Harvest Pack family Nathan was able to attend several packing events and fell in love with our mission, to put healthy food on every table. Empowering people is his passion.
Doug Rude, Board of Directors
Doug is a founding board member of Harvest Pack. His eagerness to jump in and accomplish any task is inspiring to all ages as he organizes events at schools and corporations, and his commitment to improve the lives of others is unparalleled . Before joining Harvest Pack, Doug worked for over 30 years at 3M as a locksmith. Prior to 3M Doug started a successful Lock Smith company and is a leader in the industry on current innovations. Doug spends his free time traveling to his cabin in Northern Minnesota and tear-drop camping with his wife Sandy and dog Oden.
Tanya Beckwith, Board of Directors
Tanya brings her 20+ years of experience and leadership in new product and business development to Harvest Pack. Currently, she is a Project Manager in the Healthcare Business Group responsible for new product and business development at 3M, a $31 billion dollar global company. Tanya holds her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and her MBA from the University of St. Thomas. She spends her free time gardening, reading and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, Steve, and two daughters, Maija and Kate.
Denise Willenbring, Board of Directors
Denise is a results and relationship-driven Business Development Executive. She has demonstrated an ability for building successful partnerships between national financial institutions for over 25 years and is currently working with Aon Corporation. She has a passion for supporting organizations that are known for their commitment to the social value of moving lives forward. Her recent community outreach experience is with YouthLink Homeless and Poverty Center where she organized and hosted fundraising events. Denise envisions combining her business development and revenue generating experience with Harvest Pack’s vision and mission for providing and distributing sustainable food and putting that healthy food on every table. Denise has been a resident of Mendota Heights for 24 years and has two daughters. She is an avid gardener, backyard beekeeper, enjoys yoga, and enjoys all seasonal outdoor activities.
Enrique Barrera, Board of Directors
Enrique joined Harvest Pack in 2017 as a board a member. Enrique speaks fluent Spanish and is well versed in negotiations, planning and development and relationship management. He has a strong passion for technology and thrives in environments promoting growth and innovation. Prior to working with FirstService Residential, he held positions at Sports Engine, Staples and Best Buy Corporate. Enrique is committed to healthy living and his community. He currently holds a board position as a board member and a soccer coach with the Edina Soccer Association. For fun, he enjoys spending time with his two kids, hiking the Minnesota state parks and finding new and fun places to enjoy a good meal.
Athanas Mcha, Board of Directors
Athanas, born and raised in Tanzania, joined Harvest Pack in early 2019. Working as public accountant in St Paul, he is on track to becoming a fully licensed CPA this summer. Prior to working with Lethert Skwira Schultz, Athanas was a franchise manager with College Pro Painters where he acquired managerial, financial and leadership skills. He also worked as a volunteer with Building Africa for three years. He together with his team managed to promote and empower women from underprivileged communities to start and run their own businesses. His passion to lend a helping hand led him to Harvest Pack where he continues to strive to help his community. For leisure, Athanas enjoys reading, traveling and playing basketball. "Let's promote healthy living with healthy meals."