A Note from Terri Thao

This year makes it 17 years I have been lucky enough to work for Nexus. And like 17-year-olds on the cusp of adulthood, it is with great sadness that I am announcing my departure from Nexus at the end of this year, on December 31, 2021.

When I started at Nexus, I didn’t realize what an adventure this would be to engage community and build wealth with amazing colleagues and community members who are helping to build a better world for all of us.

For the past 17 years I have been fortunate enough to be apart of this work through the East Side Housing Initiative, Center for Working Families, and even the Beehive technology project. Interwoven throughout was being able to fund amazing BIPOC-led organizations and organizations engaging and working with BIPOC communities in places like North and South Minneapolis, and my East Side of St. Paul.

And for the last ten years, I have been so honored to have adapted and run the Twin Cities Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). I cannot believe that we are in our 9th cohort. I am so proud of what we have done with the BCLI. I truly believe that we are contributing to the movement and helping set up our communities for long term success. I leave the Twin Cities BCLI to my super amazing partner in crime, Chai Lee.

Over the course of my 17 years at Nexus, I have been honored to get to know and work alongside some of amazing community leaders— like Lupe Serrano, Elder Atum Azzahir, Ricardo Levins Morales, and Paul Fate—all who have provided much wisdom and amazing models of leadership.

And to all the other amazing folks I’ve met—I have enjoyed building connections with you all in community and across different sectors (even over Zoom!). Not only is it about the work, but I love hearing stories about your families, your communities, and what drives you to do this work. And of course, I want to send love to my awesome Nexus colleagues who have made the 17 years so enjoyable. From the bottom of my heart, this Hmong girl says ua tsaug/thank you!

As for my next adventure, I won’t be too far away. Starting in mid-January 2022, I will be a Program Director at the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies leading their Local Initiatives and Opportunities program. I am excited and will certainly be bringing all that I have learned to this new position. I know our paths will cross again and look forward to connecting with you all to create a powerful future together.