By Dakota Woodlands Representative
This week brought a wonderful surprise to Dakota Woodlands. Not only was the weather beautiful with sunshine and cool temperatures of 63 degrees, we had a special visitor from Chef Lucas Pizza – serving over 31 pizzas to residents and staff! Chef Lucas is no stranger to DW. We first met Lucas Hobbs in 2016, when he was 13 years old. Chef Lucas showed up at DW with a food truck and served hot meals to the people living and working at our organization. At the time, we learned that Chef Lucas had gone through a battle with cancer and that he wanted to give back to the community that helped him put the cancer in remission. With the help of his parents and the Minnesota Food Truck Association, Chef Lucas could make his dream a reality, by sharing his passion for cooking and serving good food to the community he so loves. This mixed with his determination is what it took to grow his vision to what it is today. Now 18 years old, Chef Lucas has launched the Chef Lucas Pizza food truck to help serve that mission by bringing delicious hot and fresh pizza directly to the Minneapolis community. His 501(c)(3) charity Chef Lucas Food has served thousands of meals across the country in that effort. To learn more about this amazing individual, please visit https://www.cheflucaspizza.com/.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR, STEVE ZWEBER
On behalf of the board of directors, I am happy to announce that we’ve selected Jennifer Harrison to be the new Executive Director of Dakota Woodlands. The board is grateful for Beth Bromen, who has led Dakota Woodlands for more than a decade, but has planned to retire this year. Beth is leaving Dakota Woodlands financially and operationally stable. On this firm foundation, we are excited to grow into the future under Jennifer’s leadership.
Jennifer’s appointment comes at the end of a thorough recruitment process in which we sought a skilled nonprofit leader with a passion for serving families and who has a welcoming, inclusive style.
She will begin her leadership role effective June 14. She will work through a successful
transition with Beth throughout the month of June.
Jennifer has more than 16 years of experience working in nonprofit organizations, most
recently as the Development and Communications Director at the Greater Minneapolis Crisis
Nursery. Throughout her career she has advanced through various nonprofit organizations in
the Twin Cities including human service organizations helping individuals and families in crisis
such as Episcopal Community Services, Emerge Community Development and the Greater
Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. At each of these organizations, she sat on the leadership team, was involved in strategic planning and organizational management decisions, and worked closely with the board of directors and staff.
Jennifer is a Certified Fundraising Executive, and holds a Masters of Nonprofit Management
from Hamline University.
In her free time she enjoys getting outside with her dog, Jake, exploring local parks and trails,
running, reading, and gardening. She makes her home in Dakota County.
"I am so thrilled for the opportunity to work alongside the staff and volunteers at Dakota
Woodlands to support homeless families on their journey to independence,” Jennifer said.
Please join us in welcoming Jennifer to Dakota Woodlands!
Steve Zweber, Board Chair