Repa Mekha – Executive Director
Repa has 20+ years of experience in community-based leadership, community strengthening efforts, asset & wealth building strategies, organizational leadership & development, systems change efforts, and work in urban settings. He has been recognized locally and nationally as an innovative and visionary leader.
Before Nexus Community Partners, Repa served 15 years with Freeport West. Freeport West is a community based human services & community building organization, providing services across the Twin Cities metro area. Repa has also served as a local and national consultant on social entrepreneurship, organizational change, and program development. He co-authored a book funded and published by the McKnight Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The book “End of One Way” focuses on Freeport West and two other local organizations doing traditional work in non-traditional community-based ways.
Repa is a 2005 Bush Leadership Fellow, and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government-with a focus on community development; a pending Master’s in Counseling & Psychological Services from Saint Mary’s University of MN and; a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin.
Professional Activities & Community Service:
Board member, Hope Community Inc., 2003-present
Board member, Minnesota Homeownership Center, 2008
Former Board Chair, Powderhorn/Phillips Cultural Wellness Center, 1998-2005, 2005-2008 Finance Committee Advisor.
Terri Thao – Program Officer
Terri Thao has been with Nexus Community Partners since April 2005. Prior to joining Nexus, she worked at the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute. Her work at the Wilkins Center involved an evaluation of after school programs, managing a leadership development program and assisting with teaching courses on public policy and race. Terri grew up in the Frogtown area of St. Paul as a member of St. Paul’s Hmong community. She now lives with her husband and daughter on the East Side of St. Paul. Terri is an active community volunteer, serving as a board member for Neighborhood House, the Asian Pacific Endowment of SpectrumTrust at the St. Paul Foundation and the Asian Economic Development Association. She has a B.A. International Relations and Russian and a Masters of Public Policy, both obtained from the University of Minnesota.
Terri’s portfolio encompasses our work in South Minneapolis.
Theresa Gardella – Program Officer
Theresa Gardella joined Nexus Community Partners in April 2008. Prior to Nexus Community Partners she was a consultant for domestic and international nonprofits, coalitions and government entities. Her work involved creating interactive and impactful learning opportunities that helped strengthen the work of individuals and organizations. Previously, as Program Director at the Advocacy Institute, Theresa oversaw the development of numerous domestic and international programs, from concept and budgeting to implementation and evaluation. She has a B.A in History from the University of Connecticut and a M.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington D.C. Theresa lives with her husband and son in South Minneapolis.
Theresa’s portfolio encompasses our work in East St. Paul.
Lynette LaFontaine – Administrative Assistant
Lynette joined Nexus in December of 2010. She brings 20 years of professional experience in both for-profit and non-profit environments. Prior to Nexus, she was a Program Assistant at Northwest Area Foundation supporting poverty reduction initiatives. Lynette is currently a student at Inver Hills Community College pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services.'
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