Steve Boland is a nonprofit veteran with over twenty-five years of experience helping charities grow with new ideas in fundraising and communications. He has served as executive director of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, the Summit University Planning Council, and Greater Frogtown Community Development Corporation before founding Next in Nonprofits. Steve has presented over 100 learning sessions on topics such as crowdfunding, engaging corporate philanthropy, and social media strategy for nonprofits. He disputes his Myers Briggs Type characterization of Commander as any kind of apt descriptor, as authentic leadership never comes from issuing orders. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Steve holds a Master of Nonprofit Management from Hamline University and is an alumnus of the Shannon Leadership Institute.
Dan Carpenter is the Community TV Administrator for Southwest Television, programing both a public and education access channel while occasionally teaching video production classes. He also creates a wide range of video content for the City of Edina. Before moving to Minnesota from Alaska in 2017, he worked as a Photojournalist for seven years, and a Multimedia Journalist for five years, where he would travel by small plane or boat to up to 40 towns a year. Although he rarely needs a snowmachine to get around these days, he still carries everything he needs as a one-man-band.
Ian Cobb is an IT Systems Engineer at Alpha Video and a longtime member of this community. Ian started in PEG back in 2005 at CTV15 now Nine North under Coralie Wilson and was an integral part of their operations for many years. He also worked at Tightrope before moving to Alpha in November of 2020. Ian’s expertise is focused on helping Alpha’s customers with remote cloud production and IT systems engineering.
Joe Conlon first got involved with Town Square Television while in high school, his first production was the 1988 South St Paul High School Graduation (35 years ago this month). Over that time he has been a Town Square Television volunteer, producer, board member, cable commissioner and staff member. After high school Joe went on to the University of St Thomas in St. Paul, MN to study Communications with an emphasis in Telecommunications. In 1997 Joe was hired by Town Square Television as a full-time technician, to perform the equipment maintenance, replacement and installation of studio, portable, city hall, master control and production truck equipment. Aside from his equipment duties, Joe oversees the Master Control area that programs five channels that facilitate over 400 Live events each year. He is involved in event coverage as both a staff member and a volunteer. Outside of his “Daytime” employment, Joe is an active member of SBE (Society of Broadcast Engineers), and also assists other PEG studios plan for equipment replacement. Joe has been married for 23 years and has two children (one at Eagan high school the other in college at St Olaf).
Jordan Gilgenbach has been the Digital Communications Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis since September 2016, and focuses primarily on web, social and other digital communications strategy and implementation. Jordan has spent his entire career in local government communications, previously having worked for the City of Edina, Minn. as Communications Coordinator. He is currently serving as President of the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators.
Elizabeth Emerson is the Vice President of Public Affairs at Goff Public. Regardless of the political balance in the Legislature, Elizabeth leverages her experience as a campaign operative, legislative staffer and political consultant to deliver client results. Now as leader of our public affairs practice, Elizabeth has formed strong relationships and a deep understanding of legislative, regulatory and political processes. Elizabeth has successfully advocated for many high-profile issues across the political spectrum. From groundbreaking legislation to provide compensation for the wrongfully imprisoned to unprecedented capital investments for mental health facilities to pilot program funding to connect K-12 students with construction careers, Elizabeth has assisted clients in building powerful coalitions and making their voices heard. Her experience also includes major wins on funding proposals across numerous committee jurisdictions, from child protection to soil and water projects to student support staff. Known for her authentic approach and willingness to tackle challenging projects head-on, Elizabeth leads Goff Public’s public affairs practice. Her intellectual curiosity, combined with her civic and political experience beginning with the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone’s campaign, make Elizabeth a passionate advocate who clients turn to for insight, strategy and meaningful results. An Iowa native and Midwestern girl through-and-through, Elizabeth finds joy in spending time with her family, watching college football and playing volleyball.
Carmen Hauck has worked for the Northern Dakota County Cable Communications Commission and Town Square Television, as a Government Producer, since 2003. During that time, she has helped produce hundreds of hours of Government programming, including City Government meetings, Election coverage, and many other shows with elected officials, from School Board members to State officials. She also produces the show, Community Parks Connection, and is a reporter and photographer for the award-winning news magazine, Insight 7. In addition to video production work, Carmen designs graphics for TV, online, and print communications and manages social media applications and the Town Square Television website at www.townsquare.tv.
Janine Hill has been the communications administrator for the City of Bloomington since 2007. She manages Bloomington’s print publications, video production, websites, social media, print shop and cable television franchise. Hill has worked for the City of Bloomington since 1999. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and communications from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in business communication from the University of St. Thomas.
Darrious Hilmon has nearly 30 years of demonstrable experience in marketing and communications, strategic fund development, and events management. As Executive Director of Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV), he provides global oversight of the five-station television network, serving as the lead champion for digital literacy, access and equity, and the active engagement and partnership of community partners and other key stakeholders needed to ensure that community access remains relevant for viewers, producers, and guests. In addition to his role as Executive Director, Hilmon is host of the popular CAN TV Signature Program In the Arena airing Tuesdays at 7p on CAN TV19. Most recently, Hilmon served as Executive Director the Chicago State Foundation, where he was charged with advancing the interests and welfare of Chicago State University through partnership development, stewardship of university assets and identification and solicitation of financial support from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Hilmon has also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Chicago Urban League (CUL), overseeing fund development, outcomes-driven programs and design and implementation of cross- functional initiatives, including CUL’s Race and Equity Initiative, and Centennial Campaign. Hilmon hired and led the fund development team responsible for delivering the most successful annual fundraising campaigns in the civil rights organization’s 101-year history. As Chief Development & Marketing Officer for Youth Guidance (Chicago), Hilmon oversaw fund development activity, as well as the agency’s marketing and communications initiatives. In addition to winning the highly- coveted Neighborhood Builder Award from Bank of America, Hilmon was the chief architect of Youth Guidance’s efforts to cultivate significant partnerships with the Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox. Hilmon has also served as Marketing & Development Director for Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, leading the team responsible for winning the Neighborhood Builder Award from Bank of America (the first Detroit non-profit to ever win the award), and the Achieving Excellence Award from DTE Energy. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Hilmon is the Essence® best-selling author of the novels, 5 Dimes (Penguin/NAL; 2003) and Divalicious (Penguin/NAL; 2004), and the anthology, Mad Love (AuthorHouse; 2005).
Nikki Jackett Johnson has over seventeen years of experience in video production. As a producer at South Washington County Telecommunications Commission (SWCTC), she works closely with member city clients to facilitate the creation of multimedia content and provide consultation with the technical and creative aspects of production including scripting, storyboarding, shooting, and editing. Nikki holds a television production degree from Brown College and a digital film degree from The Art’s Institute. Her career started with CCX Media (formerly Northwest Community Television, NWCT) in the public access department where she taught production classes to the public while also mentoring and guiding them through the creative process of producing their own show. While at CCX Media, she completed her degree at The Art Institute and completed an internship with Page Productions, the company that created Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri. After her internship, she was hired with Page Productions as a freelance editor and worked on the nationally syndicated program Beer Geeks, an Emmy-nominated show about the world of craft beer. Nikki has also worked for KSTP - TV, as an audio technician for Twin Cities Live and live news broadcasts. At SWCTC, Nikki continues to grow and find new and unique ways to tell a story. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family exploring hiking trails, beaches, museums and local festivals.
Ashley Klemer joined the City of Bloomington as a communications specialist in 2015. She serves as the project manager of the award-winning Bloomington Briefing, a monthly newsletter for residents and businesses. She also leads the City’s Instagram strategy and is passionate about showing the human side of local government and making connections between communities through storytelling. After earning a BA in English literature from the University of Minnesota—Duluth, Ashley started her career as a reporter for Faribault Daily News and Northfield News. She has served on the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators Board of Directors since 2019.
Jodie Miller has been the Executive Director at Northern Dakota County Cable Communications Commission (“NDC4”) and Town Square Television since 1993. NDC4 and Town Square Television operate the local community media station serving the seven cities of Northern Dakota County, just outside St. Paul, Minnesota. Jodie is a past NATOA Board President and past leader of NATOA’s Policy & Legal and Communications Committee, and was honored to be added to the prestigious list of NATOA Life Members in 2020. She co-chairs the Legislative / Policy Committee of NATOA’s Minnesota chapter MACTA, and has served as a MACTA board member and President. Miller also sits on the League of Minnesota Cities Telecomm Task Force, and has served on several non-profit boards of directors in the NDC4 service area over the past 30 years.
Tom Ringdal had already been on staff at BEC-TV in Bloomington for a handful of years, when in 1985 the new hit series “MacGyver” took the airwaves by storm. By that time and had quickly gained a reputation for improvising unlikely resources in a pinch. While there is now a new MacGyver on the airwaves, the same old Ringdal continues to serve as director and chief bomb defuser at BEC-TV. Tom’s 80’s era mullet is - thankfully - no longer in syndication after it was cut.
Rebecca Smith is a director, photographer and entrepreneur with over 15 years of leadership across legacy and community media, journalism, and strategic communication. As the CEO and owner of BFRESH Productions, she is dedicated to bringing communities together through storytelling to reflect a more accessible, inclusive and collaborative people-first future. Rebecca is a descendent of the White Earth Anishinaabe and believes sharing personal histories and narratives can be a powerful catalyst for social change. Rebecca is currently the director of SPEAK MPLS, a member-powered media center reimagining the future of media in Minneapolis through activating community connections and creative opportunities with two studios, media labs, equipment and training. Members create content and amplify their voices on SPEAK MPLS TV- the home of Minneapolis public access TV channels 16, 17 (798 HD), and 75 on Comcast and streaming online 24/7. She has served as the Associate Producer for Viacom’s Rebel Music series featured on Netflix, as a writer and content producer for City Pages and Village Voice Media, producer for the Laura Flanders Show in New York, and as a journalist for Rock the Vote, covering the 2008 Presidential election. In addition, Rebecca’s multimedia direction and productions have been featured on national outlets such as PBS, MTV, CurrentTV, Free Speech TV, Pacifica Radio, and her reporting has appeared in the pages of ColorLines Magazine, The Nation, The Source and VIBE Magazine. She was voted Top 20 music photographers in the Twin Cities by City Pages and was their featured filmmaker in their inaugural 2015 People Issue. Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from St. Catherine University with a BA in Communications, Women’s Studies and Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity, and currently serves on the board of FilmNorth.