Announcing GCV’s new Board Officers and Directors for 2016, see here for Press Release.
CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Jessica Cordova Kramer, Senior Director, Network Growth, Teach For All (Europe)
Jessica Cordova Kramer is a lawyer by training, and has led social justice efforts through education non-profits for the last 15 years, including a pro bono refugee law practice in NY international court. Before that, Jess was a practicing attorney in New York City. She has a degree from N.Y.U. in dramatic literature, and a J.D. from Georgetown University. Jess is passionate about building a broad-based, inclusive, and intersectional movement for national renewal in the United States. She lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband and two daughters and works full time for Teach For All, a global leadership development organization, as the Senior Director of Network Growth for Europe. Jess is a dual citizen of the US and Italy.
CHAIR EMERITUS OF THE BOARD
Miguel Ramos, Director of Diversity Marketing, Minnesota Twins
Miguel Ramos is Director of Diversity Marketing for the Minnesota Twins. Since coming on board in 2008 he has put his wealth of multicultural marketing experience to work in developing more culturally diverse programming and vendor relationships. Prior to joining the Twins, Ramos worked at Nestle before leading his own consulting firm providing expertise to organizations like the Minnesota Timberwolves, St. Paul Companies, William Mitchell School of Law and others. Ramos, a tireless community champion has served on the Governors Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, the board of the Greater Minneapolis & St. Paul United Way, Science Museum of Minnesota and Casa de Esperanza a national organization dedicated to preventing domestic violence. Ramos moved from Puerto Rico with his family 20 years ago. They now reside in Inver Grove Heights.
VICE CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Johan Eriksson, Associate Vice President and Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
Johan Eriksson is an Associate Vice President and Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Mr Eriksson has been with Morgan Stanley since 2007. He born and raised in Sweden and moved to Minnesota for College. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2004 with a B.A in economics and financial analysis.
TREASURER OF THE BOARD
Faraaz Mohammed, Partner and Director of Business Development, Prudent Accountants
Faraaz received his BSB in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing from the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis, MN where he was the recipient of both UMN’s Gold and Tozer Foundation scholarships. As a son of two first-generation immigrants, Faraaz did not speak English until the first day of Kindergarten. However, 13 years later (and many years of ESL), he delivered the commencement speech at his high school graduation from a class of 400+ graduates. He is happy to give back by serving as the Treasurer of Green Card Voices.
Hibo Abdi, COO, Family Care Transportation
Hibo Abdi is a Chief Operating Officer at the Family Care Transportation based in Minneapolis, MN. Hibo received a B.A. in Health Science and Management from George Mason University and a M.B.A. from Hamline University. She moved to the US from Somalia at the age of 13 without speaking any English. While she had to work very hard and faced many challenges herself, she feels grateful to finally be in a position to give back by serving on the Boards of Green Card Voices and Jubaland Foundation.
Veronica Quillien, University of Minnesota/Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board
Veronica is a Ph.D. student in the Curriculum & Instruction Department, with an emphasis in Culture and Teaching at the University of MN. She is the founder of The Metamorphosis Project®, an after school program geared toward promoting early college readiness among students’ from disadvantage background. Veronica is a third culture kid and first generation immigrant. She was born in the United States. She spent her formative years in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and France. As a young adult, she lived in Belgium, Canada and United States. Veronica is fluent in French, English and Basaa (Cameroonian language), conversant in Spanish. She is an avid writer and has publications in Among Worlds and CERDOTOLA (Centre International de Recherche et de Documentation sur les Traditions et les Langues). Her latest chapter, currently in press, is titled “The Multicultural Umbrella Model: 6 Cs for success. The Metamorphosis Project as a case study”.
Matt Kim, Director of Technical Customer Management at Seagate Technology
Mr. Kim has over 15 years of high-tech experience in developing and bringing new products to market, and enhancing customer relationships. He is currently Director of Technical Customer Management at Seagate Technology, the global leader in data storage solutions. He is responsible for managing the technical engagement strategy for Seagate’s OEM enterprise customers in the US, Japan and EMEA. Mr. Kim holds a MBA from the University of Minnesota and a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia. He has witnessed first-hand the power of effective communication and storytelling in breaking down barriers to establish a better understanding of America’s immigrant population, and is grateful to be part of Green Card Voices to further its mission.
Jane Graupman, CEO, International Institute of Minnesota
Ms Graupman has been the CEO of the International Institute of Minnesota (IIMN) since 2010. The IIMN is an inter-racial, non-political, non-sectarian social service agency founded in 1919 to serve both foreign and native-born. It is affiliated with the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) and the United Way. The mission of the Institute is to: 1) provide a center for information and assembly for all nationalities and races; 2) develop fellowship and understanding among such persons through group meetings and activities; 3) promote the welfare of our foreign-born population and their families; and 4) preserve and stimulate intercultural values. The IIMN is the organization responsible for the Festival of Nations. Ms Groupman provides strategic direction for the organization communicates to the community the value of the IIMN work, manages agency finances and the board of directors. She work with IIMN staff to develop programming that helps New Americans be successful in their new home.
George Maxwell, Attorney at Borene Law Firm, P.A., Global Immigration Group
Mr. Maxwell currently practices immigration, including employment-based, investment-based and corporate immigration. He also advises F-1 students and schools on immigration matters. In addition, he has prior experience in litigation, corporate internal investigations, and white collar enforcement and compliance. Before joining the Borene Law Firm, Mr. Maxwell worked for ExxonMobil Corporation, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, and Dorsey & Whitney LLP. His prior work has taken him to Russia, Central Asia, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. He received his J.D. from the University Of Iowa Law School in May 2001, graduating with High Distinction. He was a member of, and a Note and Comment Editor for, the Iowa Law School’s Transnational and Contemporary Problems Journal. He also holds a bachelor of the arts in Political Science and Russian from the University of Northern Iowa, and upon graduation received the Purple and Old Gold Award for Meritorious Scholarship in Russian. In connection with his bachelor degree, he studied Russian language at Moscow State Linguistics University and Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. He participates on a number of volunteer boards, including the Minnesota State Bar Associations (MSBA) Immigration Section and International Business Section. He is a former Chair of the MSBA Immigration Section, having also held Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary positions as well. He is currently the Treasurer of the International Business Section. George has written widely on immigration and speaks regularly about it. He sees immigrants as part of the basic fabric of the United States. In his view, Green Card Voices has the ability to push back at the anti-immigrant sentiment as each individual story recorded has the power to reach and touch us all at a very personal level in a positive way.
Katie Murphy-Olsen, Teacher at Wellstone International High School
Katie is an English as a second language instructor at Wellstone International High School in Minneapolis Public Schools. Wellstone International High School serves newly arrived immigrants. Many immigrants come to Wellstone International High School with limited formal education and many narratives. Katie works to close the opportunity gaps for her students with experiences like participation in Green Card Voices’ first book Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a Minneapolis HIgh School. Malala said, “Your greatest asset is your voice,” during her visit to Minneapolis during the summer of 2016 to several Wellstone students, and it is Katie’s greatest wish her time on Green Card Voices’ board will empower more and more immigrants to find their voices and share their stories.
Tara Kennedy, Teacher at Wellstone International High School
Tara Kennedy is a teacher at Wellstone International High School in Minneapolis. She grew up in Minneapolis and has seen a lot of exciting changes in the city due to immigration. She has a B.A. in Chinese from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s in English as a Second Language from the University of St. Thomas. Tara is married to an immigrant.
Masami Suga, Realtor
Ms. Suga was born in Osaka, Japan. Her parents owned a successful auto body shop operating out of the first floor of their apartment. When she was twelve, Masami became involved in competitive swimming and devoted several hours a day to it. Her first experience in the United States came during a cross-cultural exchange with a California swim team. Faced with cultural pressure to marry young, Ms. Suga left for Minnesota to take ESL classes. While her trip was only supposed to last three months, her stay grew longer as she took courses at a community college and then at Macalester College where she majored in anthropology. After earning her PhD and working as an assistant director of Refugee Studies Center at the University of Minnesota, Masami left the world of academia and returned to her roots—business. Currently, Ms. Suga is a realtor with Edina Realty. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and son. She is proud to have a bilingual child and ensures he visits Japan frequently.