2016 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows

Fellows are employed by the Minnesota Council on Foundations and placed at participating foundations for three years.

Learn more about the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship

 

   

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Saroeun Earm, Bush Foundation

Saroeun has a wealth of experience focusing on social and economic justice for marginalized communities locally, nationally, and internationally. She most recently worked at Prepare + Prosper as the Financial Inclusion Campaign Manager, increasing low- and moderate-income consumers’ financial capability and confidence in their financial circumstances. Before that she worked for Chemonics International, managing development projects for USAID in Washington, D.C. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a BA in sociology from St. Olaf College. 

As a Program Associate with the Leadership Team at the Bush Foundation, Saroeun will support both existing leadership programs such as the Bush Fellows while helping find ways to support leadership in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota on an even broader scale. “I believe philanthropy has a unique position to invest in underrepresented communities and progressive ideas where it may have been historically and institutionally overlooked to bring positive change that transforms systems and lives. I look forward to learning more in depth, in particular how and where I can provide meaningful impact.”

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Jesse Ross, The Minneapolis Foundation

Jesse’s heart is centered on community development, with 12 years of experience in non-profit and community-based organizations throughout North and South Minneapolis. Jesse works on both program development and direct community engagement, with the goal of empowering people to effectively impact their own communities. Jesse previously worked for Young Life, a global non-profit organization, and TreeHouse, a local faith-based non-profit, where his areas of focus included policy and program development, organizational leadership, diversity and culture, youth and family development, fundraising, outreach, and a host of other initiatives.

As a Policy Associate with The Minneapolis Foundation, Jesse will contribute toward the development of a legislative policy agenda, in support of the Foundation’s leadership role in the community and advancing its equity agenda. "As a Fellow, I’m excited to continue my work in fostering relationships across diverse communities, working towards equity, improved opportunities, and diverse representation across local sectors. I hope to connect people to resources, create lasting community relationships, and improve organizational development. I love Minneapolis, and hope to leave a lasting imprint for future generations to come."

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Katie Troyer, Medtronic Philanthropy

Katie has dedicated her career to connecting community members with resources and opportunities. Prior to the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship, Katie served as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Governor Mark Dayton. In this role, she worked to develop and implement strategies for Minnesotans from communities of color, the LGBTQ community, and the disabilities community to gain employment, contracting, and engagement opportunities within state government and to create an organizational environment of inclusivity. Previous to this role, Katie worked with adults with developmental disabilities to provide support of their personal growth and success.

As Employee Engagement Associate with Medtronic Philanthropy, Katie will support the design of a community service exchange to engage mid-career and retired employees in meaningful philanthropy. “I am honored to be given the opportunity to work for Medtronic Philanthropy in supporting its efforts to promote community participation and giving within its own workforce. I hope to assist in connecting current and retired Medtronic employees with the many great community members and organizations that make our region so vibrant.”

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Chao Yang, Medtronic Philanthropy
Chao Yang was born in a Thai Refugee camp, grew up in the St. Paul North End area, and is a first generation Hmong woman.  She is a passionate advocate for gender equality, human rights, and racial equity.  Prior to her fellowship, Chao worked as a statewide healthcare trainer for the Department of Human Services, where she worked at the intersection of technology projects, healthcare policy, and instructional design. 
As Community Engagement Associate with Medtronic Philanthropy, Chao will help align and execute Medtronic philanthropic efforts aimed at achieving health equity and eliminating health disparities by integrating philanthropic community-based programs with employee engagement and other corporate-based opportunities. “I am looking forward to the plethora of learning opportunities, engaging underrepresented communities of color, and deepening my understanding of the systematic factors that lead to health disparities.  I believe philanthropic organizations serve as a catalyst for creating change, as a place for innovative solutions, and as a front runner in serving communities without a voice.”

Chao Yang, Medtronic Philanthropy

Chao Yang was born in a Thai Refugee camp, grew up in the St. Paul North End area, and is a first generation Hmong woman. She is a passionate advocate for gender equality, human rights, and racial equity.  Prior to her fellowship, Chao worked as a statewide healthcare trainer for the Department of Human Services, where she worked at the intersection of technology projects, healthcare policy, and instructional design. 

As Community Engagement Associate with Medtronic Philanthropy, Chao will help align and execute Medtronic philanthropic efforts aimed at achieving health equity and eliminating health disparities by integrating philanthropic community-based programs with employee engagement and other corporate-based opportunities. “I am looking forward to the plethora of learning opportunities, engaging underrepresented communities of color, and deepening my understanding of the systematic factors that lead to health disparities. I believe philanthropic organizations serve as a catalyst for creating change, as a place for innovative solutions, and as a front runner in serving communities without a voice.”