Shana Cohen joins the PFund team with extensive experience in development, event planning, and program development. She currently coordinates J-PRIDE, a Jewish LGBTQ program of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Minneapolis. She has worked at The Minneapolis Jewish Federation in the role of Outreach and Engagement Manager. She has planned and executed over 30 signature events annually. She works from a collaborative mindset on an organizational level to launch community-wide celebrations and to cultivate new and existing donors.
Shana’s skill sets in party and event planning started over ten years ago when she launched a queer dance night called, FUSE, in Philadelphia with some of the best promoters and DJs in the city of brotherly love. Since then, she has learned to use her creative energy in the realm of nonprofit fundraising to develop innovative events that attract the diverse interests and passions of philanthropists.
Shana completed her Master of Social Work at the school of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor in Social Work at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shana grew up in Excelsior, Minnesota and now currently lives in Saint Paul with her partner and a tiny tea-cup Chihuahua, Scout.
Kate Eubank Executive Director
Kate most recently served as director of development and communications for The Bridge for Youth. Prior to that, she supported the political development of youth as the development director at Mikva Challenge in Chicago (where she tripled the organization’s income in just three years) and as the LGBT community coordinator at Oberlin College’s Multicultural Resource Center. In that role, Kate developed educational series’ on transgender and LGBT communities of color that continue to be used as models by centers nationally.
While in Chicago, Kate was active in organizing and fundraising, and continued her work consulting with sexual assault organizations and battered women’s shelters on increasing their accessibility to transgender survivors. Since moving to Minnesota two years ago, Kate has focused her volunteer time on working with TYSN and learning her new community.
Raised in Concord, New Hampshire, she has a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College. Kate and her partner, Myrl Beam, live in south Minneapolis and raise three cats.
Susan Raffo Executive Director
Susan has worked in a consulting capacity as a fundraiser, writer, social justice and organizational trainer. She has provided coaching to multiple small organizations on strategic planning, mission shift and organizational development. Some of the organizations she has worked for include the Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN), District 202, aMaze, Sobriety High Foundation, PFund and Project 515. During the 1990s, Susan worked as the Managing Editor for Evergreen Chronicles, the Upper Midwest’s journal of GLBT Arts and Culture.
Susan has deep connections within local and national LGBT and social justice communities. Her trainings have focused on racial and economic justice and their connection to LGBT communities. Susan and Kate have also presented workshops, with David Nicholson from Headwaters Foundation, on new approaches to fundraising for grassroots organizations. Susan is a published writer and blogs with the Bilerico Project and BlogHer.
Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, she has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Susan and and her partner, Raquel (Rocki) Simões raise their daughter, Luca, in south Minneapolis.
Lois Epstein Accountant
With a wide range of professional accounting experience, Lois Epstein serves as the trusted accountant for PFund and a number of other Twin Cities-based nonprofit organizations including the Minnesota Council on Economic Education and Kingfield Neighborhood Association.
Lena Katherine Gardner Communications and Development Coordinator
Lena comes to PFund with experience that includes two gubernatorial campaigns as a Deputy Finance Director, Field Organizer and Assistant Volunteer Coordinator. Most recently, she worked with the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance as part of the Minnesotans United for all Families Faith Department and as a Program Associate with Penumbra Theater Company’s Summer Institute. Lena brings strong writing, project management and development skills. Currently completing her Master of Arts in Justice and Peace Studies at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Lena grew up in Minnesota and lives in northeast Minneapolis.
Eric Highers QReach Fellow
Eric Highers comes to PFund with passion and experience for community organizing and development. Throughout college, in their home state of Michigan, Eric connected and built a more visible LGBTQ population, and also developed programs to address the social needs of underrepresented students. Eric received the Campus Pride: Top 12 Leaders in Action Award and Albion College's President Advisory Committee on Intercultural Affairs (PACIA) Award for their work. Eric has presented workshops that focus on building awareness of LGBTQ issues and is a trained Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator. Ericís leadership on campus led to exciting professional experiences, including working to connect people to resources to further empower themselves in Chicago through nonprofits in public health and higher education. Most recently, Eric worked at the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture as the LearnCHICAGO program coordinator, assisting with the planning and execution of short term educational programs. Eric hopes to build upon these experiences and eventually pursue an MSW/MPH degree to continue to sharpen and develop skills useful for empowering others. During time off, Eric enjoys cooking delicious vegan meals, performing spoken word, running, and biking all over the Twin Cities!
Henry Schneiderman Administrative Assistant
More info coming soon!
Kayva Yang Program Officer
Kayva most recently worked as Gender & Justice Manager at CAPI, a refugee and immigrant community organization, where she managed a grassroots gender equity coalition and internal efforts to build social justice capacity. Prior to this, she helped to manage National Gender & Equity Campaign, a demonstration project of AAPIP (Asian Americans/ Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy) and Funders’ Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities spearheaded by Hispanics in Philanthropy. Both initiatives aimed to strengthen local community infrastructure and support grassroots organizations by mobilizing community and philanthropic resources. Kayva also worked at the Otto Bremer Foundation and Loft Literary Center on donor related activities.
Kayva also spends time growing as an artist nurtured by Ananya Dance Theatre, Aniccha Arts and Mu Performing Arts. She formerly served on the PFund Board and Women’s Foundation Social Change Fund. Kayva earned her B.A. from the University of Minnesota. She lives, plays, creates and generally rocks-out in Minneapolis.