About Us

UpWorks is a Christian nonprofit committed to partnering with local communities to empower all individuals to flourish. All people deserve the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential and follow their dreams. 

Mission

Celebrating and developing each person’s God-given potential to contribute to our world.

Vision

We envision communities where relationships are forming and where people are connecting with resources to gain hope and to improve their lives.

Values

Collaboration, Community Listening, Empowerment, Leadership Development, Reconciliation, Spirit-Led, Prayerful, Generosity

History 

In 2011, UpWorks was founded as a Twin Cities based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. From the beginning, UpWorks purpose was to walk alongside individuals as they developed goals for employment and/or education. Individuals are referred to UpWorks from partner organizations who assist adults with re-entering society from incarceration, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and other difficult life challenges. Since then this initial purpose of celebrating and developing individuals has grown to include mentoring and career readiness programs and services for adults, as well as mentoring and prevention programs and services for school-aged children. 

UpWorks collaborates with organizations to serve the community by listening to residents, identifying gaps, offering services, resources and opportunities in a way that leads to empowerment, not dependency. UpWorks values and advocates for racial equity and serves all ethnicities, backgrounds, and faith beliefs. UpWorks is a Christian organization, but our curriculum design, programs, and services are open and welcoming to people from all cultures and faiths. Our mentoring services and curriculum are based on mainstream coaching models, and our staff and volunteers do not proselytize.

The Team 

Lisa Peterson

Lisa Peterson

Executive Director

 Master of Business Administration | Bethel University 
lisa@upworksmn.org

Stacey Jones

Stacey Jones

Director of Community Relations

Master of Arts in Theology and Arts | Sioux Falls Seminary (In Progress)
stacey@upworksmn.org

Rachel Beckman

Rachel Beckman

Bookkeeper

Master of Strategic Leadership | North Central University (In Progress)
bookkeeper@upworksmn.org

Kevin Saunders

Kevin Saunders

Director of Empowering Adults

Master of Strategic Leadership |  Bethel University
kevin@upworksmn.org

Nina Coleman

Nina Coleman

Program & Volunteer Administrator

Master of Arts, Community Development | Eastern University
nina@upworksmn.org

Anah Kloos

Anah Kloos

Administrative Assistant

Ken Norman

Ken Norman

Director of Engaging Schools

Master of Education| Texas Tech University
ken@upworksmn.org

Jasmine Asplund

Jasmine Asplund

Communications & Branding Specialist

Master of Strategic Leadership | North Central University (In Progress)
jasmine@upworksmn.org

The Board

Jared Kemper

Jared Kemper

Chair

Sr. Director Managing Counsel at Schwan’s Company

Charles Squires

Charles Squires

Vice-Chair

VP/Business Development at Robert Half International

Debbie Ackerman

Debbie Ackerman

Secretary

Program Manager, Hennepin County HSPHD

Phillip Wolf

Phillip Wolf

Treasurer

CFO at Real Resources, Inc.

Bruce Manzey

Bruce Manzey

Member

Retired, Former President Vision Ministry Partners

Sean O'Neil

Sean O'Neil

Member

Business Development Coordinator, MN Chamber of Commerce

Barbara Doyle

Barbara Doyle

Member

Program Manager, Minneapolis Urban League

 

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson

Member

Director of Global Leadership Development, Ecolab

 

Sharon Garth

Sharon Garth

Member

Co-founder, Dove Ministries 

Bill Hochmuth

Bill Hochmuth

Member

Sr. Research Analyst 1 – Managing Director, Thrivent Financial

 

 

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