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SVP International

Staff, Board & Committees


Deb Salls, Executive Director

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Deb has spent the last 25 years in nonprofit management in community organizations focused on youth development. Prior to coming to SVP in Dec 2020, Deb served as executive director at Bike Works in Seattle. Read More »

Esther Goldberg-Davis, Deputy Director

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Esther is a seasoned development professional with over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about working to improve the lives of youth and families. Read More »

Lea Blackwell Favor, Operations Director

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Lea has spent her career working with young people from under-resourced communities and thrives in settings that are youth-centered, culturally-responsive and academically enriching. Read More »


Our Board is made up of SVP Partners who are actively involved in engaged philanthropy. They are leaders from the Twin Cities who provide organizational leadership and oversight to SVP and they are committed to addressing issues to help under-resourced teens prosper.

Jeff Arnesen

Jeff Arnesen is Senior Vice President at Marsh where he is responsible for developing and managing financial group [...] Read More »

Linda Bryant, Secretary

Linda Bryant is Executive Director of HOPE 4 Youth and has over three decades of successful experience working with youth, teens and adults in direct service and leadership development. Read More »

Ben Burgum

Ben Burgum joined SVP in 2013 on the advice of a friend and fell in love with both the engaged community of Partners and the efficient model of making an impact. Read More »

Nathan Espinosa

Nathan has 20 years of marketing experience in product management, marketing communications and strategic [...] Read More »

Dionne Gumbs

Dionne Gumbs is CEO and Founder of GenEQTY, a digital financial services platform that aims to close the gender gap by providing women and women led enterprises with access to lending and investment products. Read More »

Veronica Hawman

Veronica Hawman is Executive Director at Redeemer Center for Life. Through her volunteerism and work, she expresses her passion for making the Twin Cities community safe for all. Read More »

Linda Ireland, Board Chair

Linda’s passion for collaborating to tackle complex change brought her to SVP, and she has been a Partner since 2017. She is known for connecting disparate ideas to move people and organizations forward – a provocateur, a CEO once called her. Read More »

Carla Pavone

Carla is currently a senior instructor at the Carlson School of Management teaching entrepreneurship and management courses, as well as consulting with young nonprofits and businesses seeking to boost their growth. Read More »

Christi Strauss, Vice Chair

Christi Strauss brings almost 30 years of general management experience leading businesses for General Mills around the world. Read More »

Josh Susser, Treasurer

Josh Susser has more than 17 years of professional experience in financial services. In 2018, he founded Cascadily LLC, which manages private equity investments for institutional investors. Read More »

Daniela Vasan

Daniela Vasan is an educator committed to social change and inspired by mission focused environments that impact educational outcomes for under-resourced communities. Read More »


Thank you to the following volunteers for sharing their brain power, time and financial support to help guide SVP’s activities in the Twin Cities. Most of our volunteers are SVP Partners.

Equity Team
Rodolfo Gutierrez
Veronica Hawman*
John Mauriel
Ellie Singer
Steve VanTassel
Guff Van Vooren – Chair
Daniela Vasan*

Finance Committee
Dan Kinsella
Eileen Lundberg
Josh Susser* – Chair

Programs Committee
Linda Ireland*
Holly Parker
Christi Strauss*
Guff Van Vooren

Investment Committee
Rhoda Beaird
Nancy Chang
John Mauriel
Jeff Parker
Ellie Singer
Charles Talbert – Co-Chair
Steve VanTassel – Co-Chair

Marketing/Communications Committee
Nathan Espinosa – Chair
Deb Garvey
Frank Parisi
John Watson

SVP Network Liaison
Guff Van Vooren

Connections to Independence Consulting Team
Jeff Parker
Jeanne Rudelius – Lead Partner
Josh Susser*

Cookie Cart Consulting Team
Dan Kinsella – Lead Partner
Christi Strauss*

Elpis Enterprises Consulting Team
Craig Gudorf
Chris Harms
Linda Ireland
Ellie Singer – Lead Partner

New Vision Foundation Consulting Team
Jim Anderson
Carlee Donohue – Project Manager
Paul Lundberg
Steve VanTassel

RECLAIM Consulting Team
Diane Harper – Co-Lead Partner
Linda Ireland* – Co-Lead Partner
Vicki Raport
Daniela Vasan*

*Member of SVP Board