Jessie has always been drawn to landscapes and communities that inspire, challenge, and foster connection. This led to many years exploring Montana and Alaska before returning home to Minnesota, where her love of place was first sparked. She majored in environmental studies followed by a year of service with AmeriCorps at the Montana Legal Services Association. These early experiences cemented Jessie’s commitment to building community resiliency by addressing the connection between socioeconomic, environmental, and health equity factors. For over two decades she has worked for equity, access, and sustainability by serving in non-profit leadership roles with proven outcomes building organizational capacity. She is adept in strategic planning, fund development, policy analysis, community outreach, coalition building, and project management. Her focus is centered on improving access, equity, and community health outcomes for all. For Jessie, the most rewarding aspect of leadership is collaborating with, and learning from, those around her. Jessie earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Carroll College, Helena Montana and a Master of Social Work from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Terry Leonidas manages the financial aspects of the foundation including, grant and program financial allocations, payroll, and investment management. He brings nearly 40 years of accounting experience to his position, including former roles as Chief Accountant and Chief Financial Officer. Terry earned a BS in Accounting from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and MS in Management from the College of St. Scholastica.
Megan Halena applies her energy, experience, and management skills to Generations’ Access to Care initiatives. She engages a wide variety of partners in access efforts, including community organizations, health systems, St. Louis County, faith communities, and higher education, among others. For more than a decade, Megan has worked for non-profit organizations focused on youth development, social change, and asset building. Through non-profit work, she recognized the critical role that access to health care plays in an individual’s or family’s ability to achieve stability and advancement. Megan earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and MA in Women’s Studies from Florida Atlantic University.
Sarah Nelson is a family physician with experience in clinical practice, holistic and lifestyle medicine, public health, clinical practice quality improvement and nonprofit administration. She has worked as an independent contractor with the Carlton Cook Lake and St. Louis Community Health Board in Duluth, to provide practice facilitation to primary care clinics as they implemented quality improvement and best practices around chronic disease prevention and linking to community resources. In addition, she was involved with Creating Accountable Communities for Health Conference planning and research and writing for the Western Lake Superior Good Food Movement. Dr. Nelson practiced as a family physician at St. Luke’s Holistic Health Clinic in Duluth and at the Bay Area Health Center in Silver Bay. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth.
Sonia Kjos serves as data manager and analyst for programs sponsored by the foundation. She brings a unique combination of analytic and creative skills acquired through work experience in marketing, information systems, public health, and medical research. She enjoys the challenge of constructing flexible data collection solutions, tailoring analyses to fit project management needs, and creatively packaging results. Sonia earned a BS in Business at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MS in Epidemiology at the University of Texas, School of Public Health, Houston, and PhD in Medical/Veterinary Entomology at Texas A&M University, College Station.
Vee Doane assists with multiple facets of the organization including communication, editing, and general support to the rest of the team. He has a background in administrative work as well as healthcare, and brings a passion for both to the organization. He is eager and excited about advocating for equitable access to healthcare for all, and is bringing that drive to Generations’ mission. Vee has earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice Studies from Northwoods Technical College and is currently working towards a bachelor in Human Resources through Colorado State University. Vee will use these diverse perspectives on equitable care to better serve the community.