Dina Carpenter – Development Chairperson

Dina has a passion for running, for community, and for the power that emerges when the two come together. Her professional background is an equal mix of marketing and fundraising. She particularly enjoys helping small businesses and non-profit organizations build visibility and support through a fine-tuned mission, a well-told story, and a strategic communications plan. In addition to running, Dina is often found with her nose in a book, at a local dog park, or at “the lake” with her family.

Jana Huffman – Board Chair

Jana began running with the team late summer 2014, and became part of transitioning the team from a group to a non-profit at Mike and Mishka’s invitation that winter. Her professional experience ranges from volunteer management in her time at a small non-profit to health education while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She knows the power running had in transforming her own life and health, and feels that getting to work to pair that power with her passion to come alongside people experiencing homelessness might be even more wonderful than coffee.

Brent Nelson – Board Treasurer

Brent brings his skills in financial & project management to Mile in My Shoes, as well as the experience he has gained over the past six years as the Board Secretary of Hope House, a home for people living with HIV/AIDS. Brent is also an avid runner and member of the Mill City Race Team.

Chris Wellner - Board Member

Chris, a physical therapist, frequently educates others about the importance of exercise in improving and maintaining health throughout one's life. She is also interested in how being part of a community encourages and reinforces healthy behaviors. Chris started running on a regular basis during college, and values all of the benefits running provides, including the "runner's high" and the feeling of accomplishment when achieving a new goal.

 

Monica Nilsson - Board Member

Monica's interest in joining the Board of Mile in My Shoes came from her desire to support meaningful, not charitable, connection between people who have experienced homelessness and those who haven't. Having operated shelters and street outreach programs serving homeless youth and single adults for over 20 years, Monica hopes to partner with the homeless community in educating run mentors and building the MIMs program. She sees the value of relationship for people who have been isolated and, having completed 2 marathons, the value of setting and reaching a goal.

Michael Jurasits – Co-founder

Mike became involved with an organization called Back on My Feet when he decided he wanted his running to be about more than his own personal achievements, and served there in various capacities. After arriving in Minnesota, Mike, with his partner Mishka, decided they wanted to continue to run with people from all walks of life! Mike brings running knowledge and ability to the team, and is known for his wicked dance moves and tremendous support of his runners and volunteers.

Staff

Mishka Vertin, Co-founder, Executive Director

Before starting Mile in My Shoes, Mishka served as Program Director for Back on My Feet New York City, where her responsibilities included helping program members find employment, managing 200+ volunteers, developing community partnerships & running while carrying large heaps of running gear. Mishka is a licensed social worker and brings over a decade of nonprofit experience to Mile in My Shoes, though she is currently enjoying a new challenge – learning the ins-and-outs of small-business management with MiMS sponsor Mill City Running. Mishka moves from operational management towards a focus on strategic planning, development & community partnerships for Mile in My Shoes.